Autosomal recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) is characterized by recurrent mucocutaneous blistering with non-healing ulcers which are often complicated by squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Despite having as high as 80% death rate from SCC, RDEB still does not have an effective treatment. We report on the efficacy of single follicular unit extract (FUE) grafting to heal chronic ulcers of intermediate RDEB in a 54-year-old woman with extensive chronic wounds covering around 30% of the body surface area. On Day 17 post first graft session, the area of treated ulcers on her right upper back was reduced by 80%. Immunofluorescence study revealed positive type VII collagen expression along the epidermal and follicular basement membrane zone in the donor and recipient sites. A few grafted follicles continued to grow hair on the recipient sites. A total of 360 FUEs were grafted in nine sessions over five years, resulting in healing of most treated ulcers and reduced significantly her time for daily wound dressing. Importantly, FUE grafting using patient's own scalp follicles does not require any laboratory manipulation. It is safe and easy to perform. Autologous follicular grafting appears efficacious for healing of recalcitrant wounds and provides an innovative solution for RDEB patients with such wounds.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine