The Effect of a Hydrogen Peroxide Wound Care Regimen on Tensile Strength of Suture

Raghu S. Athre, MD; Jesung Park, PhD; Joseph L. Leach, MD Department ofOtolaryngology²Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas, Southwesternn Medical Center, Dallas (Drs Athre and Leach); and Department of Biomedical Engineering,University of Texas JULY/AUG 2007

polypropylene.y Objective: To compare the tensile strength of nylon. . and fast-absorbing gut sutures treated with either 3% hydrogen peroxide or water for a period of 5 days to emulate a wound care regimen.

and 5-0 polypropylene sutures (Prolene) y All suture packages were opened on day 0. . 5-0 nylon. .Methods: y Fifteen samples of 5-0 fast-absorbing gut.

y Five samples of. y Control suture was not manipulated in any way y Suture samples randomized to the water and peroxide groups were dipped in the appropriate solutions twice a day for 5 minutes each time for a total of 5 days to simulate a wound care regimen. 5 to the water group. . and 5 to the peroxide group.each type of suture were randomized to the control group.

y The peroxide and water solutions consisted of over-the- counter 3% hydrogen peroxide and distilled water. Norwood. respectively. . all suture samples were subjected to tensile strength testing using a bench-top In-Spec 2200 (Instron Corporation. y At the end of 5 days. Massachusetts) portable bench-top tester.

y Results: Analysis of the data showed a statistically significant decrease in tensile strength of fast-absorbing gut sutures treated with hydrogen peroxide compared withfast-absorbing gut suture control samples and fastabsorbing gut sutures treated with only water. .

and general feel when handled. The fastabsorbing gut suture. however. was different.On preliminary visual examination. nylon and polypropylene sutures did not appear to be affected by either water or hydrogen peroxide. The fastabsorbing gut suture subjected to water did not appear to be affected compared with control suture.the only thing left behind was the needle Results are shown in table : . Both groups of suture samples retained their shape. The fast-absorbing gut suture subjected to hydrogen peroxide the hydrogen peroxide²treated suture had completely degraded. color.


Conclusion y the evidence from this study shows that hydrogen peroxide significantly decreases the tensile strength of fast-absorbing gut suture hydrogen peroxide should be avoided as a superficial wound care regimen when fast-absorbing gut suture is used for wound closure y Hydrogen peroxide does not affect the tensile strength of polypropylene or nylon suture. .

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