Objectives. To determine if small intestinal submucosa (SIS) can evoke urethral regeneration. Methods. Twenty male white New Zealand rabbits were assigned to one of three experimental groups. Group 1 (n = 4) underwent simple urethrotomy and closure. Group 2 (n = 8), a second control group, underwent an onlay urethroplasty with a graft of full-thickness preputial skin from the host rabbit. Group 3 (n = 8) underwent an onlay urethroplasty with an SIS graft. Results. All eight SIS onlay grafts promoted regeneration of the normal rabbit epithelium supported by a well-vascularized collagen and smooth muscle backing. Preputial free onlay grafts maintained a keratinizing squamous cell epithelium with a poor supportive backing, which resulted in the formation of urethral diverticulum. Conclusions. SIS onlay patch grafts for urethroplasty promote rabbit urethral regeneration.
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