Systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy of epidermal grafting for wound healing

Muholan Kanapathy, Oliver J. Smith, Nadine Hachach-Haram, Nicola Bystrzonowski, Afshin Mosahebi, Toby Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Autologous skin grafting is an important method for wound coverage; however, it is an invasive procedure and can cause donor site morbidity. Epidermal grafting (EG) enables epidermal transfer to wounds with minimal donor site morbidity. However, data to date have been heterogeneous. This study aims to synthesise the current evidence on EG for wound healing to establish the efficacy of this surgical technique. A comprehensive search in the MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL databases was conducted. The endpoints assessed were proportion of wounds healed and mean wound-healing time. This systematic review was conducted and reported according to the Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) guidelines. We identified 1568 articles, of which seven articles were included in this review – a total of 209 wounds in 190 patients. The mean wound duration was 17·06 weeks (95% CI 8·57–25·55). Of these, 71·5% (95% CI 56·7–84·2) of the wounds achieved complete healing. Mean time for complete wound healing was 5·53 weeks (95% CI 3·18–7·88). The mean donor site healing time was 7·48 days (95% CI 4·83–10·13), with no reported donor site morbidity. The current data are small and lack level 1 evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-928
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Wound Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidermal graft
  • Skin graft
  • Systematic review
  • Wound healing

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