Allogeneic vs. Autologous Skin Grafts in the Therapy of Patients with Burn Injuries: A Restrospective, Open-label Clinical Study with Pair Matching

Adv Clin Exp Med. 2016 Sep-Oct;25(5):923-929. doi: 10.17219/acem/61961.


Background: Early application of autologous skin may lead to the loss of split thickness skin graft due to unclarified wound bed. Allogeneic skin grafts are performed on patients with extensive burn injuries after escharotomy, tangential excisions and deep debridement for the purpose of stabilizing the general condition and reducing the scope of local complications.

Objectives: The aim of this paper is to determine how the use of allografts improves the conditions for the intake of autografts in burns treatment, and how it accelerates wound healing in comparison to the autografts-only option.

Material and methods: In 2012-2013, allogeneic skin was grafted on 46 patients, and in 8 cases grafting was repeated several times. An autologous split-thickness skin graft was applied to 32 patients. The analysis included the relationship between the duration of hospitalization and the number of skin transplantations, the relationship between the time of admission to debridement of the necrotic tissues and the total duration of hospitalization. Statistical analysis encompassed also pain assessment.

Results: The results suggest that multiple applications of autografts not only do not lead to quicker recovery, but even lengthen the hospitalization time. The dependency is visible also in the patients who underwent the skin grafting procedure in allogeneic and autologous systems twice or more. There was a statistical significant difference between the duration of hospitalization in groups of patients who underwent STSG preceded by allogeneic skin graft transplantation when compared to the group of patients who underwent allogeneic skin application (p < 0.05) and the group of patients who were grafted with autologous skin (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Allogeneic skin grafts are a perfect dressing when wound vascularization is insufficient to take free split-thickness skin graft. In patients with comparable burn surface areas, multiple applications of free autologous split-thickness skin grafts (STSG) extend the hospitalization time in comparison to application of allogeneic skin dressing as the first-line therapy.

Keywords: burns; hospitalization; pain; skin graft.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Burns / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Matched-Pair Analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Perception
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Transplantation*
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Transplantation, Homologous