Use of a collagen-elastin matrix with split-thickness skin graft for defect coverage in complex wounds

J Wound Care. 2024 Jan 2;33(1):14-21. doi: 10.12968/jowc.2024.33.1.14.

Abstract

Objective: Severe soft tissue damage with destruction of the dermis requires plastic reconstructive treatment. For multimorbid patients or patients unable to undergo major reconstructive surgery, use of dermal substitutes, such as a collagen-elastin matrix (CEM) with a split-thickness skin graft (STSG), instead of local or free flap surgery, may be a valid and easy treatment option. We aimed to investigate and compare the outcomes and rate of successful defect reconstruction using CEM plus STSG, using either a one-step approach (simultaneous CEM and STSG) or a two-step approach (CEM and negative wound pressure therapy (NPWT), with secondary STSG transplantation).

Method: A single-centre, retrospective follow-up study of patients who had received CEM was conducted. Wounds had been treated with an STSG transplantation covering a CEM (MatriDerm, MedSkin Solutions Dr. Suwelack AG, Germany). Previous attempts at wound closure with conventional methods had failed in the selected patient population, which would usually have resulted in flap surgery.

Results: Overall, 46 patients were included (mean age 60.9±20.0 years), with a total of 49 wound sites. We analysed 38 patients with wounds that did not require flap coverage; 18 patients received the one-step approach and 20 patients received the two-step approach. The mean follow-up in these patients was 22±11.5 months, and one patient was lost to follow-up. Overall, 29 (78.4%) wounds remained closed. Wounds which did not successfully heal were related to comorbidities, such as diabetes, alcohol misuse and smoking. Using the one-step approach, long-term defect coverage was achieved in 13 (76.5%) wounds and 16 (80.0%) wounds were closed using the two-step approach. However, there was no statistically significant differences between the one- or two-step approaches regarding the rate of development of a wound healing disorder.

Conclusion: Wound closure was achieved in 38 complex wounds using CEM plus STSG, while 11 wounds needed secondary flap coverage. In the flap-free wounds, there were no statistically significant differences between the one-step versus two-step approach. Using a simple defect reconstruction algorithm, we successfully used CEM plus STSG to treat complex wounds.

Keywords: collagen-elastin matrix; complicated wound; negative pressure wound therapy; soft tissue coverage; split-thickness skin graft; wound; wound care; wound dressing; wound healing; wound therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Collagen / therapeutic use
  • Elastin / therapeutic use
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Free Tissue Flaps*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Transplantation*

Substances

  • Collagen
  • Elastin