A comparative examination of the clinical outcome and histological appearance of cryopreserved and fresh split-thickness skin grafts

Holzer, P. W., Leonard, D. A. , Shanmugarajah, K., Moulton, K. N., Ng, Z. Y., Cetrulo Jr., C. L. and Sachs, D. H. (2017) A comparative examination of the clinical outcome and histological appearance of cryopreserved and fresh split-thickness skin grafts. Journal of Burn Care and Research, 38(1), e55-e61. (doi: 10.1097/BCR.0000000000000431) (PMID:27606556) (PMCID:PMC5179303)

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Abstract

The clinical use of frozen, human allogeneic skin grafts is considered a suitable alternative to freshly harvested allogeneic skin grafts when the latter are not available. However, limited functional and histological information exists regarding the effects of cryopreservation on allogeneic skin grafts, especially those across mismatched histocompatibility barriers. Thus, we performed a side-by-side comparative study of fresh vs frozen skin grafts, across both minor and major histocompatibility barriers, in a miniature swine model. Since porcine skin shares many physical and immunological properties with human skin, our findings have relevance to current clinical practices involving allogeneic grafting and may support future, temporary wound therapies involving frozen xenografts, comprised genetically modified porcine skin. Four miniature swine underwent harvest and grafting of split-thickness skin, with and without cryopreservation, in order to observe autologous grafts and grafts across minor and major histocompatibility barriers. A biopsy of the grafts was done at regular intervals for study of architecture, vascularization, and outcomes. All grafts vascularized without technical complications. Differences were noted in the early appearance of some fresh vs frozen grafts, but no significant difference was observed in overall survival times in any of the experimental groups. These results demonstrate that despite early observable differences in the healing process, cryopreservation and thawing does not significantly affect long-term graft survival or time to rejection, thus supporting the clinical and experimental use of fresh and frozen split-thickness skin grafts as comparable and interchangeable.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors wish to acknowledge funding and research support from Steward Health Care, the Department of Defense Grant W81XWH-09-1-0419 DOD (DR080729), and the National Institute of Health Grant No.1C 06 RR 20135-01.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Leonard, Dr David
Authors: Holzer, P. W., Leonard, D. A., Shanmugarajah, K., Moulton, K. N., Ng, Z. Y., Cetrulo Jr., C. L., and Sachs, D. H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:Journal of Burn Care and Research
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1559-047X
ISSN (Online):1559-0488

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