Graft survival and effectiveness of dermal substitution in burns and reconstructive surgery in a one-stage grafting model

Paul M. Van Zuijlen, Antoine J.M. Van Trier, Jos F.P.M. Vloemans, Frits Groenevelt, Robert W. Kreis, Esther Middelkoop

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Abstract

Survival of the autograft and objective parameters for scar elasticity were evaluated after dermal substitution for acute burns and reconstructive surgery. The dermal substitute, which was based on bovine type I collagen and elastin-hydrolysate, was evaluated by intraindividual comparison in a clinical trial. The substitute was applied in a one-step procedure in combination with a split-thickness autograft. This treatment was compared with the conventional treatment, the split-thickness autograft. After 1 week, the percentage of autograft survival was assessed. The Cutometer SEM 474 was used to obtain objective measurements of skin elasticity parameters 3 to 4 months postoperatively. Forty-two pairs of wounds (31 patients, age 32.9 ± 19.3 years; burned surface area, 19.8 ± 14.5 percent) were treated because of acute burns. Reconstructive surgery was performed on 44 pairs of wounds (31 patients, age 33.9 ± 17.5 years). Autograft survival was not altered by the substitute for reconstructive wounds, although a slight but significant reduction (p = 0.015) was established in the burn category for substituted compared with nonsubstituted wounds. However, the necessity for regrafting was not increased by substitution. Cutometer measurements of reconstructive wounds with a dermal substitute demonstrated a significant increase of pliability (50 percent, p < 0.001), elasticity (defined as immediate extension, 33 percent, p = 0.04), maximal extension (33 percent, p = 0.002), and immediate retraction (31 percent, p = 0.01), as compared with nonsubstituted wounds. After burn surgery, no improvement was found for the different elasticity parameters. Dermal substitution in a one-stage grafting model seems feasible with respect to graft survival. Skin elasticity was considerably improved by the collagen/elastin dermal substitute after reconstructive surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-623
Number of pages9
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Volume106
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000

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