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Objective: The primary purpose of this multicenter study was to evaluate the safety and potential efficacy of a solvent/detergent-treated commercial fibrin sealant (human) for topical hemostasis in skin grafting.

Methods: The study involved a prospective evaluation of changes in viral titers in patients with burns less than 15% after treatment with fibrin sealant (human). Each patient served as his/her own control for an unblinded, randomized comparison of donor site hemostasis and healing. Preoperative serum was obtained to screen for viral titers. At autografting, the recipient site and one of two randomly chosen donor sites were treated with fibrin sealant (human). The use of other hemostatic agents, including epinephrine was prohibited. Each donor site was covered with gauze to collect blood for estimation of the relative amount of bleeding. The healing of the graft and donor sites was observed. Viral titers and wounds were checked monthly for 6 months, and at 9 and 12 months postoperatively.

Results: Viral titers for human immunodeficiency virus; hepatitis A, B, and C; Epstein-Barr virus; and cytomegalovirus were obtained before and after treatment. Of 47 patients, 34 completed the full year of observation. After treatment, there were no seroconversions to any of the aforementioned viruses. Bleeding at the recipient site appeared well controlled with fibrin sealant (human). Although investigators felt that fibrin sealant (human) improved donor site hemostasis, differences in hemoglobin measurements of blood-soaked dressings failed to reach significance. No differences were noted with regard to acceleration of donor site healing, graft take, or scar maturation at the two groups of donor sites. Anecdotally, the maturation of the recipient site appeared to be accelerated.

Conclusion: Fibrin sealant (human) is safe for use during excision and grafting, and its topical hemostatic potential needs to be examined in patients with larger burns. Its role in scar maturation also needs to be investigated.

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