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World J Surg. 2006 Aug;30(8):1586-91.

Experimental comparison of monofile light and heavy polypropylene meshes: less weight does not mean less biological response.

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Department of Surgery, St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany.



Mesh implantation is a standard procedure in hernia repair. It provides low recurrence rate but increases complication rate due to foreign-body reaction induced by alloplastic materials in surrounding tissues. It is believed that biocompatibility of meshes may be improved by reducing their weight per meter squared (m2) and altering the implant structure.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of weight and structure as determinants of mesh biocompatibility.


Thirty-six Wistar rats were studied. In 12 animals, conventional polypropylene (heavy) meshes (HM) were implanted; in other 12, material-reduced (light) microporous polypropylene meshes (LM); and the remaining 12 served as a sham-operated control group. Meshes were explanted after 21 and 90 days (6 animals per group). All samples were examined by light and electron microscopies. Integration of meshes in surrounding tissue, inflammatory response, fibrotic reactions, and structural changes were recorded. Quantification of the inflammatory response was achieved by CD-68 marking of macrophages and counting their number per surface unit.


After 21 days, there was no significant difference in thickness of surrounding connective tissue between meshes in all groups studied. After 90 days, thickness of connective tissue decreased in both groups, and fibrotic reaction in the mesh bed was significantly less in the HM group. Total amount of macrophages per millimeter squared (mm2) decreased with time in HM and LM samples but was significantly lower in the HM group on day 21 (43.5%) and day 90 (46.7%).


This study found worse biocompatibility of LM compared with HM. Thus, the amount of implanted mesh was not the main determinant of biocompatibility (expressed as successful incorporation and diminished foreign-body reaction) but the size of the pores.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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