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Mariusz Zmijewski, Andrzej Pietraszek
Ann Transplant 2005; 10(3): 17-20
Amnion allografts have been used in a number of clinical applications. However, no references of their use in thoracic surgery have been identified.
Air leakage, is one of the most common complications in thoracic surgery, resulting from visceral pleura and lung injuries caused intraoperatively, in particular following rethoracotomy. Mechanical and manual sutures are also potential sites of air leakage. The aim of our study was to evaluate the usefulness of human amnion grafts in the treatment of air leakage following thoracic surgery. Deep-frozen, radiation-sterilized (35 kGy) human amnion grafts prepared in the Central Tissue Bank in Warsaw (Poland) were used. The amnion allografts were applied to 20 patients who had surgery: 11 thoracotomies and 9 rethoracotomies were performed (15 resections of 1-12 metastases, 3 lobectomies and 2 residual tumor resections). During lung ventilation the air leakage sites were covered by the amnion flap attached by moderate compression and stabilized by sutures. Air leakage and drainage were measured during the postoperative period. In 80% of the cases, no traces of air leakage was observed. The preliminary results suggest that the application of human amnion grafts may be a safe and effective method for preventing prolonged air leakage after thoracic surgery.