Frequently changed skin allografts may promote healing of chronic, infected cutaneous ulcers.
In a report to the annual meeting in Milwaukee of the Society of University Surgeons, Peter J. Morris, MD, said healing was achieved in 15 of 18 patients given allografts at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.
"The absence of a proper control group makes it difficult to be certain that healing was promoted by the frequently changed allografts," Dr. Morris said. "The assessment of the value of this method must rest on clinical observation."
Permanent closure was achieved in one of two ways, depending on the size of the lesion. In large ulcers, a suitable bed for autografting was obtained, usually within one week. With smaller ulcers, spontaneous epithelialization from the edge of the ulcer was found to be more efficient as it avoided the operative procedure necessary for obtaining an autograft.
Excision followed by split-thickness skin graft