Does the transplantation of keratinocytes really reduce the risk of death? Survival analysis of patients hospitalized at the Dr Stanisław Sakiel Centre for Burns Treatment in 2008-2015

Adv Clin Exp Med. 2019 Jan;28(1):5-10. doi: 10.17219/acem/76327.


Background: Keratinocyte transplantation is an adjuvant procedure in the extensive burn therapy method. However, it must be taken into consideration that clinical results of keratinocyte transplantation are ambiguous and progress achieved in this method is still being verified, especially due to the high cost of cultured epithelial autograft (CEA) transplants.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to verify the impact of cultured keratinocyte application on patients' survival. This study included a group of patients with the highest chance for a successful outcome of the therapy and excluded patients with no compelling reason to apply for such an expensive therapy.

Material and methods: This study included all the patients with burns diagnosed between January 1, 2008 and January 1, 2016, who were treated with cultured skin cells. Patients' age and gender, percentage of total body surface area (TBSA) affected, percentage of burn depth of the 3rd/4th degree, number of days between admission and surgery, and need for rehabilitation were analyzed.

Results: The cultured cell application did not significantly affect the risk of death (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: Keratinocytes should be applied as an adjunctive method for the treatment of burns with at least 40% TBSA affected, but with a maximal burn depth of the 2nd degree. In the group of patients below 50 years of age, a higher number of transplants with a cell population above 20 million/mL and a significantly lower mortality rate were observed, which means that in the mentioned age group, this graft was more effective. It has been suggested that patients older than 50 years of age with burns deeper than of the 2nd degree should be treated with more advanced methods like, e.g., the application of stem cells.

Keywords: advanced therapy medicinal product; burn; cell graft; keratinocytes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Surface Area
  • Burns / mortality
  • Burns / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epidermis / transplantation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Keratinocytes / transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Transplantation / methods
  • Skin, Artificial*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing
  • Young Adult