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transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, wound healing, angiogenesis, myofibroblast proliferation



  1. Machado, Aline F. P. PT, MS
  2. Liebano, Richard E. PhD, PT
  3. Furtado, Fabianne PhD, PT
  4. Hochman, Bernardo MD, PhD
  5. Ferreira, Lydia M. MD, PhD


OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the effects of high- (HF) and low-frequency (LF) transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on angiogenesis and myofibroblast proliferation in acute excisional wounds in rat skin.


DESIGN: This was an experimental controlled and randomized study.


PARTICIPANTS: An excisional wound was made on the back of 90 adult male EPM1-Wistar rats using an 8-mm punch.


INTERVENTIONS: The animals were randomly assigned to the HF group (80 Hz), LF group (5 Hz), or control group. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (pulse duration, 200 microseconds; current amplitude, 15 mA) was delivered (session length, 60 minutes) on 3 consecutive days.


MEAN OUTCOME MEASURE: Immunohistochemistry was performed on postoperative days 3, 7, and 14 for counting blood vessels and myofibroblasts.


MEAN OUTCOME RESULTS: The LF group had significantly more blood vessels than the HF group on day 3 (P = .004). The HF group had significantly less blood vessels than did the control group on days 7 (P = .002) and 14 (P = .034) and less myofibroblasts than did both the LF and control groups on day 3 (P = .004) and less than did the control group on day 7 (P = .001).


CONCLUSION: There seems to be a benefit to the use of LF transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in the healing of acute excisional wounds, but further studies are warranted.