Cultured epidermal autografts (CEA) have been shown to be an effective permanent skin replacement for major burn injuries, but are more sensitive to adverse conditions than split thickness grafts (Clarke et al., 1988). Cuono et al. (1986, 1987) have described the successful use of engrafted allodermis as a wound bed for cultured grafts. We report on a method of preparing allodermis and grafting CEA in five patients with major burns (48-70 per cent TBSA, average 59.6 per cent). The average age was 38.8 years (20-60 years). All full thickness wounds were excised down to fat within 7 days of admission, and covered with meshed split thickness cryopreserved homograft. Over the ensuing 2-3 weeks, the homograft became engrafted. At surgery, the allo-epidermis was removed, leaving the dermal components as a viable bed for the CEA. Keratinocytes derived from a full thickness biopsy were. grown to confluence by the method of Rheinwald and Green (1975), and 25 cm2 sheets were stapled to Vaseline gauze backings and applied to freshly excised wounds. Seven to 10 days after surgery, the gauze backings were removed. The average take ranged from 87-100 per cent (average 93.6 per cent). Follow-up for up to 4 years shows supple skin that has been durable, and resistant to trauma and infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine