Distinct Patterns of Hair Graft Survival After Transplantation Into 2 Nonhealing Ulcers: Is Location Everything?

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BACKGROUNDStudies highlighting the role of hair follicles (HFs) in wound healing have raised the challenge of bringing this knowledge to clinical applications. A successful translation is the transplantation of scalp HFs into chronic wounds to promote healing.OBJECTIVETo characterize scar formation and hair growth in nonhealing ulcers after transplantation.PATIENTS AND METHODSNonhealing ulcers were treated with hair transplantation to promote wound healing. Hair follicles were harvested from the patient's scalp and inserted into the wound bed. Wound repair and hair growth were assessed clinically. Further analyses were performed in situ, using biopsies from the central and peripheral scar.RESULTSRapid wound closure and differences of scar quality and hair growth between the central and peripheral wound areas were observed: the periphery healed with no hair shaft survival and an almost scarless appearance, the center healed with a fibrotic scar, with some hair shaft growth. In situ analyses revealed differences in dermal remodeling and collagen formation between central and peripheral scar areas.CONCLUSIONBesides confirming the effectiveness of this therapy to promote wound healing in human skin, location-dependent disparities in scar quality and hair growth raise the intriguing question whether they are due to clinically important differences in mechanical forces and/or wound microenvironments between ulcer center and periphery.

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