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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2004 Dec;114(7):1783-9.

Clinical application of fresh fibroblast allografts for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers: a pilot study.

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1
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, College of Medicine and Medical Science Research Center, Korea University, Seoul, Korea. pshan@kumc.or.kr

Abstract

Diabetic foot ulcers often pose a difficult problem for health care professionals because of the defects associated with fibroblast functioning. Although there has been much interest recently in the use of topical growth factors for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, the effects are generally not very dramatic. Cryopreserved fibroblast implants, which are able to adjust to a wound's environment and provide the desired growth factors and other substances that may be lacking in a chronic wound, represent an exciting development and a major advance. These products may well provide growth factors in the right concentration and in the right sequence, something that has proved difficult to achieve with the topical application of recombinant growth factors. However, cell activities are impaired by cryopreservation. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of fresh human allogeneic fibroblast grafting for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Eight patients with diabetic foot ulcers ranging from 6 to 17 weeks in duration were treated. The size of the wounds ranged from 2.0 to 6.0 cm2, with three patients exhibiting exposed bones. A history of diabetic foot ulcers was present in five patients. Human dermal fibroblasts from healthy teenagers were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium/Ham's F-12 supplemented with 10% autologous serum. The cultured cells were applied over the wounds immediately after debridement; fibrin was used as a cell carrier. A dressing was then applied with Tegaderm and kept moist until healing was complete. The progress and time for complete wound closure and patient satisfaction were assessed, with follow-up time ranging from 6 to 18 months. Complete wound healing occurred in all patients. Eleven to 21 days were needed for complete reepithelization of the wound, and no clinical or laboratory abnormalities were noted. Patient satisfaction was also very positive. In this study, the use of fresh human fibroblast allografts was found to be a safe and effective treatment for diabetic foot ulcers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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