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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (5): 565-569.doi: 10.3736/jcim20110516

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Thread-dragging therapy in treatment of a rat model of infected subcutaneous fistula

Chen Wang1, Jin-gen Lu1, Hao-qiang Yin2, Yong-qing Cao1()   

  1. 1. Department of Anorectal Surgery, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
    2. Department of Medical Imaging, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
  • Received:2011-01-15 Accepted:2011-02-21 Online:2011-05-20 Published:2011-05-15
  • Contact: Cao Yong-qing

Objective: This study was to develop an experimental rat model of subcutaneous fistula induced by bacteria infection and treat it with thread-dragging therapy.
Methods: A spring-gauze was surgically implanted into 24 male Sprague-Dawley rats’ dorsal muscles, respectively, then mixed Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli were injected into the spring-gauze. After 45 d, all the spring-gauzes were removed from the rats under anesthesia. X-ray and ultrasound were performed to assess the fistula tract. Each rat was examined by a fistula probe and four rats were randomly selected for histological assessment. The residual rats were randomly divided into two groups. Group A was treated with thread-dragging therapy, and group B was treated with fistulotomy. The healing time and body weight of the two groups were compared.
Results: On the 45th day of the spring-gauze implantation, imaging assessment proved a tract with two openings in all rats and histological results proved that lumen and surrounding granulation tissue with epithelium were similar to the features of fistula in human beings. The mean healing time of rats in group A was shorter than that of the rats in group B (P<0.01). The body weight of rats in group A was heavier than that of the rats in group B on the 7th and 14th day after surgery, respectively (P<0.05).
Conclusion: A rat model of subcutaneous fistula induced by mixed Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli infection was successfully established. Traditional Chinese medicine thread-dragging therapy is less invasive and safer than fistulotomy.

Key words: subcutaneous fistula, thread-dragging therapy, traditional Chinese medicine, models, animal

Figure 1

Spring-gauze was implanted beneath the rat’s dorsal muscle"

Figure 2

Thread-dragging therapy"

Figure 3

Fistulotomy therapy"

Figure 4

Little yellow pus can be found at the surface of spring-gauze after 45 d of modeling"

Figure 5

Histology of fistulas on the 45th day tested by hematoxylin and eosin staining (Light microscopy,×50) The arrows point the lumen of fistula track and the thickness of inner layer was uneven."

Figure 6

Two tiny scars on the rat’s skin with thread-dragging therapy"

Figure 7

Severe scar on the rat’s skin with fistulotomy"


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