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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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
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000

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