Metrics of cellular and vascular infiltration of human acellular dermal matrix in ventral hernia repairs

Kristin Turza Campbell, Nadja K. Burns, Joe Ensor, Charles E. Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background:: Human acellular dermal matrix is used for ventral hernia repair, as it resists infection and remodels by means of surrounding tissue. However, the tissue source and impact of basement membrane on cell and vessel infiltration have not been determined. The authors hypothesized that musculofascia would be the primary tissue source of cells and vessels infiltrating into human acellular dermal matrix and that the basement membrane would inhibit infiltration. Methods:: Fifty-six guinea pigs underwent inlay human acellular dermal matrix ventral hernia repair with the basement membrane oriented toward or away from the peritoneum. At postoperative weeks 1, 2, or 4, repair sites were completely excised. Histologic and immunohistochemical analyses were performed to quantify cell and vessel density within repair-site zones, including interface (lateral, beneath musculofascia) and center (beneath subcutaneous fat) zones. Cell and vessel quantities were compared as functions of zone, basement membrane orientation, and time. Results:: Cellular and vascular infiltration increased over time universally. The interface demonstrated greater mean cell density than the center (weeks 1 and 2, p = 0.01 and p < 0.0001, respectively). Cell density was greater with the basement membrane oriented toward the peritoneum at week 4 (p = 0.02). The interface zone had greater mean vessel density than the center zone at week 4 (p < 0.0001). Orienting the basement membrane toward the peritoneum increased vessel density at week 4 (p = 0.0004). Conclusions:: Cellular and vascular infiltration into human acellular dermal matrix for ventral hernia repairs was greater from musculofascia than from subcutaneous fat, and the basement membrane inhibited cellular and vascular infiltration. Human acellular dermal matrix should be placed adjacent to the best vascularizing tissue to improve fibrovascular incorporation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)888-896
Number of pages9
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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