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Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2015 Mar;52(2):198-202. doi: 10.1597/13-158. Epub 2014 Feb 25.

In vivo durability and safety of rolled acellular dermis in a submucosal pocket in pigs.


Objective : This study explored posterior nasopharyngeal augmentation with an acellular dermal matrix sheeting. Design : Evaluation of the persistence and safety of a submucosal implant of rolled acellular dermis over a 3-month period in a piglet model. Setting : Institute Hills Facility, part of the Mayo Clinic Rochester health care facility. Participants : Fifteen 5-week-old domestic piglets of unspecified gender. Interventions : Twelve piglets were implanted at age 5 weeks with a rolled sheet of acellular dermal matrix (Strattice). Implants were inserted in a submucosal pocket in the soft palate. Three piglets underwent sham operations, with creation of submucosal pockets without implantation. After a 3-month observation period, the palates were harvested for evaluation. Results : Grossly, persistence of bulk at the surgical site in 5 of the 12 implanted piglets was noted at 3 months. Histologically, no persistence of the dermal matrix could be observed. Incorporation and/or resorption of the dermal matrix occurred with minimal to no host inflammatory response. Conclusion : This experiment demonstrated the safety of a rolled acellular dermal implant in a submucosal location in a pig model, without surgical complication, host inflammatory reaction, or rejection. Minimal, if any, bulk of the implant persisted in the implanted location after 3 months. Although acellular dermal matrix sheeting appears to be safe and well-tolerated, it does not offer a long-term treatment option for posterior pharyngeal augmentation.


cleft palate; posterior pharyngeal augmentation; rolled acellular dermis; velopharyngeal insufficiency

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