Original ArticleAnalysis of Skin-Graft Loss Due to Infection Infection-Related Graft LossÜnal, Sakir MD*; Ersoz, Gülden MD†; Demirkan, Ferit MD*; Arslan, Emrah MD*; Tütüncü, Necmettin MD*; Sari, Alper MD*Author Information From the *Department of Plastic Surgery and the †Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Mersin University School of Medicine, Mersin, Turkey. Received October 26, 2004 and accepted for publication, after revision, March 2, 2005. This study was presented in the 5th European Congress of Chemotherapy and Infection, 17–20 October 2003, Rhodos, number Sat 110. Reprints: Ferit Demirkan, MD, GMK Bulv., 521-33, Yenisehir, 33040, Mersin, Turkey. E-mail: [email protected]. Annals of Plastic Surgery: July 2005 - Volume 55 - Issue 1 - p 102-106 doi: 10.1097/01.sap.0000164531.23770.60 Buy Metrics AbstractIn Brief This prospective study was performed to analyze the causes of infection-related skin-graft loss in a general population of plastic and reconstructive surgery patients. One hundred thirty-two patients who received either full- or split-thickness skin grafts to reconstruct soft-tissue defects were included. The tissue defects were grouped according to the cause as follows: vascular ulcers (9.2%), burns (14.5%), traumatic tissue defects (36.6%), and flap donor-site defects (39.7%). In all cases, the preoperative evaluation indicated an adequate wound-bed preparation. However, graft loss secondary to infection was recorded in 31 patients (23.5%). The microbiological cultures revealed Pseudomonas aeruginosa in 58.1% of the cases (P < 0.05), followed by Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter, enterococci, and Acinetobacter; 58.3% of grafts in vascular ulcers, 47.4% of grafts in burns, 16.7% of grafts in traumatic-tissue defects; and 13.5% of grafts in donor-site defects were lost due to infection. Vascular ulcers and burns were more commonly associated with graft losses due to infection than other tissue defects (P < 0.001). No correlation was found between the etiological cause of the defects and the microorganisms cultured. However, Pseudomonas infections were more fulminant and caused an increased reoperation rate 4.2 times (P < 0.05). Full-thickness grafts were more resistant to infection than split-thickness grafts (P<0.05). Graft loss due to infection was also more common in grafts applied to the lower extremities or when performed at multiple sites. In conclusion, 23.7% of skin grafts were lost due to infection in a group of general plastic surgery patients. Infection-related graft loss was more commonly encountered in vascular ulcers and burn wounds, and the most common cause was Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A review of 132 patients undergoing skin grafting demonstrated graft loss secondary to infection in 23.5%. Graft loss was higher in the presence of Pseudomonas, on the lower extremities, in multiple sites, and in split rather than full-thickness grafts. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.