Integra-based Reconstruction of Large Scalp Wounds: A Case Report and Systematic Review of the Literature

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Large complex scalp wounds that have traditionally required free vascularized tissue transfer have been successfully reconstructed with skin substitutes such as Integra. Although there are multiple reports of Integra-based reconstructions of scalp wounds, there has not been a comprehensive assessment of this body of literature that critically examines this method. Our goal was to conduct a systematic review to determine the effectiveness of Integra-based reconstructions of scalp wounds, with emphasis on large defects.


A comprehensive systematic review was completed using key search terms, including Integra, dermal regeneration template, bovine collagen, skin substitute, forehead, and scalp. Selected articles reported characteristics of patients and their reconstructions. The primary outcome measures were wound complications and percent graft take.


Thirty-four articles were included in this systematic review. Wound sizes ranged from 5.7 to 610 cm2, with 35.3% of articles reporting a mean defect size >100 cm2. Thirty-two articles reported mean percent take of skin graft ≥90%. Sixteen articles reported a minor complication. There were no major complications associated with the reconstructions.


There is a substantial evidence base for the use of Integra to reconstruct scalp wounds. To date, the dermal regeneration template is generally reserved for salvage procedures or when the patient cannot tolerate free tissue transfer. Based on the findings of this systematic review and the authors’ clinical experience, Integra can be used to achieve predictable results in large complex scalp defects.

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