Wound healing is a sophisticated biologic process. In the case of hemithyroidectomy, the operation time is relatively short with small tissue damage and without skin excision, and bacterial contamination before, during, and after the operation is uncommon. Here, we explored which cytokine(s) affected the rates of healing of skin wounds after hemithyroidectomy of 29 patients. We assessed the amounts of cytokines (e.g., interleukin-6, platelet-derived growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, and tumor necrosis factor-α) in either the preoperative or postoperative lavage fluids, or in the drainage fluids on postoperative days (PODs) 1-8. All of these cytokines showed a similar pattern; after reaching a peak on POD1, the production fell sharply on POD2-8, revealing that wound healing commenced on POD1. The rates of wound healing were inversely related to the levels of histamine in six patients (i.e., those with the three largest and those with the three smallest total volumes of drainage fluid on POD1): high (or low) levels of histamine in the postoperative lavage fluids with low (or high) levels in the drainage fluids on POD1 caused earlier (or the delay of) wound healing, suggesting involvement of histamine in the acceleration and delay of wound healing.
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