The Presence of Oxygen in Wound Healing

Howard M. Kimmel, DPM, MBA; Anthony Grant, DPM; James Ditata, BSN, RN, CNOR


Wounds. 2016;28(8):264-270. 

In This Article


Throughout all phases of wound healing, oxygen plays a substantial role. Its effects vary depending on whether the wound is in a hypoxic, normoxic, or in a hyperoxic state. The following are the key points. First during energy metabolism, oxygen is needed for mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase.[61] This in turn produces high-energy phosphates which then are needed for many cellular functions.[40] Second, in collagen synthesis oxygen is involved in the hydroxylation of proline and lysine into procollagen which leads to collagen maturation.[62] Third, in angiogenesis, hypoxia is required to start the process, but it has been shown that if oxygen is administered it can accelerate and sustain vessel growth.[63] Finally, the antimicrobial action of oxygen occurs when converted by leukocytic NADPH oxidase to a superoxide ion which kills bacteria.[64]