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Pediatr Dermatol. 2003 Mar-Apr;20(2):169-72.

Tissue-engineered skin in the healing of wound stumps from limb amputations secondary to purpura fulminans.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida, USA.


Currently wound treatment options of amputation stumps due to purpura fulminans include healing by secondary intention from wound debridement, split-thickness skin grafting, tissue and muscle flaps, plantar skin free transfer, skin expansion, artificial skin, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. We saw a 6-month-old girl with purpura fulminans as a complication of meningococcemia. She developed necrosis of the distal extremities resulting in bilateral amputation of the lower limbs. Shortly thereafter the leg stumps also became necrosed and she underwent unsuccessful split-thickness grafts of lower limb ulcers. The patient's difficult-to-heal wounds made her an excellent candidate for treatment with tissue-engineered skin. At 10 months of age, this was applied to her previously nonhealing wounds. The tissue-engineered skin induced rapid healing of the patient's chronic amputation stump ulcers and provided her with substantial pain relief. In conclusion, tissue-engineered skin appears to be a potential beneficial treatment for chronic wounds in children with nonhealing amputation stumps.

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