Wound repair and regeneration : official publication of the Wound Healing Society [and] the European Tissue Repair Society

Simultaneous dermal matrix and autologous split-thickness skin graft transplantation in a porcine wound model: a three-dimensional histological analysis of revascularization.

PMID 25358670


Despite the popularity of a simultaneous application of dermal matrices and split-thickness skin grafts, scarce evidence exists about the process of revascularization involved. In this study, we aimed at analyzing the progression of revascularization by high-resolution episcopic microscopy (HREM) in a porcine excisional wound model. Following the surgical procedure creating 5 × 5 cm(2) full-thickness defects on the back, one area was covered with an autologous split-thickness skin graft alone (control group), the other with a collagen-elastin dermal matrix plus split-thickness skin graft (dermal matrix group). Two skin biopsies per each group and location were performed on day 5, 10, 15, and 28 postoperatively and separately processed for H&E as well as HREM. The dermal layer was thicker in the dermal matrix group vs. control on day 5 and 28. No differences were found for revascularization by conventional histology. In HREM, the dermal matrix did not appear to decelerate the revascularization process. The presence of the dermal matrix could be distinguished until day 15. By day 28, the structure of the dermal matrix could no longer be delineated and was replaced by autologous tissue. As assessed by conventional histology and confirmed by HREM, the revascularization process was comparable in both groups, notably with regard to the vertical ingrowth of sprouting vessels. The presented technique of HREM is a valuable addition for analyzing small vessel sprouting in dermal matrices in the future.