Objective: This study aims to evaluate percutaneous collagen induction (PCI) in post-burn scarring.
Background: Patients with scarring after burn frequently request help in improving the aesthetic appearance of their residual cicatricial deformity. Their scars are generally treated by tissue transfer, W- and Z-plasties, flaps, cortisone injections or ablative procedures that injure or destroy the epidermis and its basement membrane and subsequently lead to fibrosis of the papillary dermis. The ideal treatment would be to preserve the epidermis and
promote normal collagen and elastin formation in the dermis.
Patients: A total of 16 consecutive patients in Germany with post-burn scarring. Intervention: PCI using the Medical Roll-CIT (Vivida, Cape Town, South Africa). This device was designed to multiply-puncture the skin to the level of the dermal scar to institute remodeling. Patients were prepared with topical vitamin A and C cosmetic creams for a minimum of 4 weeks preoperatively to maximize collagen stimulation.
Outcome measures: The outcome was measured rating (visual analog scale (VAS) and Vancouver Scar Scale (VSS)), histological specimen 12 months after the intervention.
Results: On average, patients rated their improvement as a mean of 80% better than before treatment. Histologic examination revealed a considerable increase in collagen and elastin deposition 12 months postoperatively. The epidermis demonstrated 45% thickening of stratum spinosum and normal rete ridges as well as the normalization of the collagen/
elastin matrix in the reticular dermis at 1 year postoperatively.
Conclusions: This pilot study shows that PCI appears to be a safe method for treating postburn scarring without destroying the epidermis. The procedure can be repeated safely and is also applicable in regions where laser treatments and deep peels are of limited use.
However, it is necessary to initiate an efficacy trial to prove the data of this pilot study.
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