Reduced wound healing capacity in alcohol abusers - reversibility after withdrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BackgroundAlcohol abusers have increased risk of wound complications following surgical procedures, however the development of complications is reduced after preoperative withdrawal from alcohol. Therefore the aim of the study was to evaluate wound healing at alcohol abuse and after withdrawal. MethodsIn total 16 alcohol abusers were included and tested. Nine abusers were able to abstain from alcohol and were retested after 8 weeks of abstinence. No patients had clinical or biochemical signs of hepatic or renal disease. Collagen and total protein accumulation in wound granulation tissue were evaluated from the deposited amount of hydroxyproline and proline in two subcutaneously implanted polytetrafluoroetylene tubes.ResultsThe amount of proline and total protein increased significantly after 8 weeks of abstinence, median 81.3 nmoI/mm (inter-quartile range: 77.1-92.9) versus 69.3 nmol/mm (68.5-76.3), p < 0.05, and 632 nmol/mm (505-1,127) versus 571 nmol/mm (544-831), p < 0.05, respectively. There was no significant change of hydroxyproline. ConclusionThis study showed a change in the protein level of the wound healing process among alcohol abusers, which seemed reversible after withdrawal.


  • Hanne Tønnesen
  • Susanne Pedersen
  • Michael Lavrsen
  • Jon Ivar Tuxøe
  • Christian Frøkjær Thomsen
External organisations
  • Bispebjerg Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Substance Abuse
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-92
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Health Promotion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch