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Burns. 2005 Aug;31(5):597-602. Epub 2005 Mar 21.

Treatment of second degree facial burns with allografts--preliminary results.

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  • 1Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, Medical School, Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen-N├╝rnberg 12, 91054 Erlangen, Freiburg, Germany.


Facial burns are very common and have significant clinical impact. However, the treatment regimen for superficial to deep facial burns is not well defined. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of cadaver skin grafting in deep partial thickness facial burns in comparison to standard care. In a prospective open study design severely injured patients with superficial and deep partial thickness burns were randomized into the group receiving open treatment with silversulfadiazine (standard n=5) or into the group receiving early superficial debridement followed by coverage with glycerolized cadaver skin (n=5). The outcome measures were time and quality of wound healing, and incidence of hypertrophic scarring at 3 and 6 months post burn. There were no significant differences in demographics between groups. In the group treated with the allogenic material time to reepithelialization was 10.5 days, while it was 12.4 days in the silversulfadiazine group (p<0.05). Scar quality was found to be significantly improved in the allogenic treatment group. Three and 6 months postburn there were no patients with significant hypertrophic scarring in the allogenic group while there were two patients who developed hypertrophic scars in the silversulfadiazine group (p<0.05). In this study, we demonstrated that glyzerolized cadaver allograft skin represents a superior biological dressing for shallow and deep partial thickness facial burns. This is in concordance with other reports on scalds. It would be worthwhile to perform more clinical studies with a larger number of patients to further evaluate the effect and function of allogenic skin for facial burns.

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