Wound healing in foetal sheep: a histological and electron microscope study

R. S.C. Horne, J. V. Hurley, D. M. Crowe, M. Ritz, B. Mc C. O'Brien, L. I. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


A study was made of the healing of excised, unsutured and sutured skin wounds in foetal sheep of 75, 90 and 120 days gestation and of wounds in newborn lambs and adult ewes. Foetal and postnatal wounds were found to heal in a very similar way. At each stage of development studied, excised wounds contract rapidly and histological and electron microscope examination demonstrates formation of granulation tissue and its maturation to scar tissue in all types of wound. Examination of polyvinyl sponges 7 and 14 days after subcutaneous implantation confirms the ability of foetal sheep to form vascularised scar tissue. The cellular inflammatory response to wounding is much less prominent in foetal than in postnatal sheep, the number and type of extravascular cells reflecting the changes in blood leucocyte content during development. From a very early stage foetal sheep react to insoluble irritants by the formation of multinucleate giant cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-344
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Plastic Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992

Cite this