Human acellular dermal matrix (HADM) is used for ventral hernia repair, as it resists infection and remodels via surrounding tissue. However, the tissue source and impact of basement membrane (BM) on cell and vessel infiltration have not been determined. We hypothesized that musculofascia would be the primary tissue source of cells and vessels infiltrating into HADM and the BM would inhibit infiltration.
Fifty-six guinea pigs underwent inlay HADM ventral hernia repair with the BM oriented toward or away from the peritoneum. At postoperative weeks 1, 2, or 4, repair sites were completely excised. Histologic and immunohistochemical analyses were performed to quantify cell and vessel density within repair-site zones, including interface (lateral, beneath musculofascia) and center (beneath subcutaneous fat) zones. Cell and vessel quantities were compared as functions of zone, BM orientation, and time.
Cellular and vascular infiltration increased over time universally. The interface demonstrated greater mean cell density than the center (weeks 1 and 2, p=0.01, p<0.0001). Cell density was greater with the BM oriented toward the peritoneum at week 4 (p=0.02). The interface zone had greater mean vessel density than the center zone at week 4 (p<0.0001). Orienting the BM toward the peritoneum increased vessel density at week 4 (p=0.0004).
Cellular and vascular infiltration into HADM for ventral hernia repairs was greater from musculofascia than subcutaneous and the BM inhibited cellular and vascular. HADM should be placed adjacent to the best vascularizing tissue to improve fibrovascular incorporation.