The effect of allopurinol (50 mg/kg) on the rate of full thickness excisional wound contraction in the Hooded Lister rat was assessed by planimetric and histological examinations. Compared with control animals, those treated with allopurinol showed a significantly lower coefficient of wound area contraction for days 0-7 (p < 0.05) than those of control animals. Histologically, in the allopurinol treated wounds the granulation tissue was less cellular but appeared to contain more collagen. This inhibition by allopurinol of the contraction phase of wound healing associated with an increased quantity of granulation tissue suggests that mediation of the process may involve a complex interaction between the fibroblasts/ myofibroblasts and free radicals. © 1995 The British Association of Plastic Surgeons.
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