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Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2014 Sep;13(3):191-6. doi: 10.1177/1534734614544959. Epub 2014 Aug 8.

High matrix metalloproteinase levels are associated with dermal graft failure in diabetic foot ulcers.

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University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.


The aim of our study is to analyze factors, including matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) levels, that could influence the integration of dermal grafts in diabetic foot ulcers. From September 2012 to September 2013, 35 diabetic patients with IIA lesion (Texas Wound Classification) and an extensive foot tissue loss were considered suitable for dermal graft. Before the enrollment we ensured the best local conditions: adequate blood supply, control of infection, and offloading. The MMP level of each lesion was evaluated blindly before the application of dermal substitutes. At 1-month follow-up, we analyzed the correlation between clinical patient characteristics, local wound features including MMP levels, dermal substitute applied, and the outcome expressed in terms of dermal graft integration. We observed dermal graft integration in 28/35 patients (80% of our population). In multivariate analysis high MMP level was the only negative predictor for dermal graft integration (P < .0007). In addition, we divided the patients into 2 groups according to MMP levels: group 1 with low protease activity (24 patients) and group 2 with elevated protease activity (11 patients). The integration of the dermal graft was 100% in group 1 (n = 24 patients) and 36.4% in group 2 (n = 4patients), P < .0001. According to our data, the evaluation of MMP levels may be useful to choose the right strategy to get the best results in terms of clinical success and cost saving. However, further studies are necessary to confirm these findings.


acellular dermis; diabetic foot; matrix metalloproteinases; ulcers

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