Skin thickness of the anterior, anteromedial, and anterolateral thigh: a cadaveric study for split-skin graft donor sites

Chan, J. C.Y., Ward, J., Quondamatteo, F., Dockery, P. and Kelly, J. L. (2014) Skin thickness of the anterior, anteromedial, and anterolateral thigh: a cadaveric study for split-skin graft donor sites. Archives of Plastic Surgery, 41(6), pp. 673-678. (doi:10.5999/aps.2014.41.6.673) (PMID:25396179) (PMCID:PMC4228209)

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Abstract

Background: The depth of graft harvest and the residual dermis available for reepithelization primarily influence the healing of split-skin graft donor sites. When the thigh region is chosen, the authors hypothesize based on thickness measurements that the anterolateral region is the optimal donor site. Methods: Full-thickness skin specimens were sampled from the anteromedial, anterior, and anterolateral regions of human cadavers. Skin specimens were cut perpendicularly with a custom-made precision apparatus to avoid the overestimation of thickness measurements. The combined epidermal and dermal thicknesses (overall skin thickness) were measured using a digital calliper. The specimens were histologically stained to visualize their basement membrane, and microscopy images were captured. Since the epidermal thickness varies across the specimen, a stereological method was used to eliminate observer bias. Results: Epidermal thickness represented 2.5% to 9.9% of the overall skin thickness. There was a significant difference in epidermal thickness from one region to another (P<0.05). The anterolateral thigh region had the most consistent and highest mean epidermal thickness (60±3.2 µm). We observed that overall skin thickness increased laterally from the anteromedial region to the anterior and anterolateral regions of the thigh. The overall skin thickness measured 1,032±435 µm in the anteromedial region compared to 1,220±257 µm in the anterolateral region. Conclusions: Based on skin thickness measurements, the anterolateral thigh had the thickest epidermal and dermal layers. We suggest that the anterolateral thigh region is the optimal donor site for split-skin graft harvests from the thigh.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Quondamatteo, Professor Fabio and Dockery, Prof Peter
Authors: Chan, J. C.Y., Ward, J., Quondamatteo, F., Dockery, P., and Kelly, J. L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Archives of Plastic Surgery
Publisher:Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
ISSN:2234-6163
ISSN (Online):2234-6171
Published Online:03 November 2014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
First Published:First published in Archives of Plastic Surgery 41(6):673-678
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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