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A Journal on Physiopathology and Therapy of Chronic Cutaneous Ulcers
Official Journal of the Italian Association for Cutaneous Ulcers
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Acta Vulnologica 2006 March;4(1):15-22
Glycerol preserved skin allografts
Stella M., Castagnoli C.
S.O.C. Chirurgia Plastica, Grandi Ustionati e Banca della Cute, CTO, Torino
Apart from their primary life-saving function in the treatment of patients with severe burns, skin allografts can also be used as temporary cover in patients suffering from profound lesions of a traumatic nature with major loss of matter, as in flayings or chronic ulcers. The need to accumulate large stocks of micobiologically and virologically controlled material for clinical use has stimulated the creation of skin and research banks to adequately process and preserve tissue. Of these glycerol preservation makes it possible to keep tissue structure integral but not vital: glycerol preserved skin is therefore an excellent cover material capable of modulating cure processes in the absence of rejection phenomena. Since June 1999 a Skin Bank has been in operation at the Centro Grandi Ustionati of the CTO in Turin. This has been recognized by the Piedmont Regional Authority as a Regional Reference Center for the preservation of skin. The cover of burns with glycerol preserved skin has a noteworthy releasing effect; it also prevents drying of the base, and promotes and accelerates processes of granulation and re-epithelization. In extensive flaying cases, allo-transplants are useful as intermediate stages in reconstruction: similarly to what happens in burns, the allo-transplant promotes cleansing of the base, which is often highly contaminated, promotes spontaneous repair, and controls the loss of organic fluids and blood. Glycerol-preserved skin can also be used in the treatment of chronic ulcers: in a selected series, it provided an effective therapeutic response with high percentages of cure or improvement and excellent control of pain symptoms which at times greatly complicate the course of this pathology.