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Evaluating full-thickness skin grafts in intraperitoneal onlay mesh position versus onlay position in mice

Journal article
Authors A. Winsnes
U. Gunnarsson
Peter Falk
B. Stark
J. Moskaug
K. Strigård
Published in Journal of Surgical Research
Volume 230
Pages 155-163
ISSN 0022-4804
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Pages 155-163
Language en
Keywords Abdominal wall reinforcement, Acellular scaffold, Autologous full-thickness skin graft, Hernia repair, Intraperitoneal, IPOM/onlay, Isogeneic
Subject categories Surgery


Background: Importance: Hernia surgery requires reinforcement material with few side effects when used in the intraperitoneal position. Autologous skin grafting may meet this requirement, but animal experiments are obligatory before being applied in humans. Objective: To compare survival and effects of isogeneic full-thickness skin grafts in the intraperitoneal onlay mesh (IPOM) position in mice, with a control group using the onlay position. Primary end point was graft survival and secondary end point adhesion formation and inflammation through NF-κB activity. Methods: Design: Intervention study with 8-week follow-up in accordance with ARRIVE criteria, performed between 2015 and 2016. Setting: Animal laboratory. Participants: Transgenic C57BL/6 mice with isogeneic background were used. Recipients were female wild-type phenotype mice >3 mo (n = 24). Donors were male or female mice >7 mo, with phenotype-positive for the luciferase gene (n = 20) or positive for NF-κB-luciferase gene (n = 4). Intervention: Full-thickness skin was grafted in the IPOM position and compared with grafts in the onlay position as controls. Survival was evaluated by regular longitudinal postoperative luminescence imaging over 8 wk. Adherence formation was evaluated macroscopically after sacrifice. Inflammation of full-thickness skin grafts in IPOM position of NF-κB mice was evaluated in four additional mice. Main outcome and measure: Survival of grafts, evaluated by luminescence. Results: Ten animals received grafts in the IPOM position, and 10 in the onlay position as controls. Graft survival after 8 wk was 100% (20/20). Average luminescence at the end of the 8-week period was 999,597 flux (min 162,800, max 2,521,530) in the IPOM group (n = 10) and 769,708 flux (min 76,590, max 2,164,080) in the onlay control group (n = 10). No adhesions requiring sharp dissection (Jenkins' scale >2) were seen. Four animals with grafts in the IPOM position showed peak inflammation (NF-κB activity) 5 d after surgery subsiding toward the end of follow-up. Conclusions: Full-thickness skin survives as well in the IPOM position as in the onlay control position, and few adherences develop. Further studies are required to fully characterize the tissue remodeling and repair processes associated with IPOM skin grafting. The result is relevant in the search for alternative reinforcement materials to be used in complex hernia surgery in humans. © 2018 The Author(s)

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