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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2004 Mar;18(2):173-9.

Cryopreserved and lyophilized cultured epidermal allografts in the treatment of leg ulcers: a pilot study.

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Department of Dermatovenereology, St Anna Faculty Hospital, Pekaøská 53, Brno, Czech Republic.



In the conservative therapy of venous leg ulcers modern types of dressings are used most frequently. In the past 20 years 'active wound dressings' - cultured epidermal keratinocytes as autografts and allografts - were also introduced in the management of leg ulcers.


The aim of our study was to compare the effect of cryopreserved and lyophilized cultured epidermal allografts in the treatment of venous leg ulcers. Evaluation of the therapy was documented as photodocumentation, planimetry, healing time and evaluation of pain relief over a 3-month period after application. Fifty patients with venous leg ulcers were selected. Twenty-five patients (group I) were treated with cryopreserved keratinocytes and 25 (group II) with lyophilized keratinocytes.


The final evaluation 3 months after the application of allografts showed 84% of healed ulcers in group I and 80% in group II. The number of healed ulcers and the healing rate both showed no statistically significant differences. The size of the ulcer was reduced by half during the first week in both groups. The size differences during the first week are statistically significant in both groups and they are comparable (P < 0.001). The intensity of the pain was statistically significantly reduced during the first week after application in both groups (P < 0.001).


The cryopreserved and lyophilized cultured allografts are comparable in healing rate, course of healing and relief of pain, and also in planimetric changes during the healing of venous leg ulcers. Lyophilized allografts are more convenient for routine use than cryopreserved allografts as they can be stored at room temperature. These results could give rise to the more frequent use of lyophilized allografts in slow-healing venous leg ulcers.

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