|A study suggest that simple test may be able to predict|
which patients are most likely to experience
Transcutaneous oximetry is a noninvasive test that measures the oxygen level of tissue beneath the skin. Adhesive sensors are placed on the skin; the sensors contain electrodes that can sense oxygen. The test causes no side effects or discomfort to the patient. The study followed ten patients who underwent surgery for soft tissue sarcomas after receiving radiation treatment. Patients with lower transcutaneous oxygen levels before surgery were more likely to experience wound complications. Four of the seven patients who had levels lower than 25 mm Hg just before surgery experienced wound complications, while all three patients with oxygen levels higher than 25 mm Hg healed without difficulty.
The study population is small, and further work is necessary to confirm the findings. If confirmed by further study, transcutaneous oximetry potentially could become a tool to predict which patients are most at risk for wound complications. Extra precautions then could be taken to prevent complications, such as increasing the time interval between radiation and surgery and performing additional tissue transfers and vacuum-assisted closure.