The tunica vaginalis dorsal graft urethroplasty: Experimental study in rabbits

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Calado, A. A.
Macedo, A.
Delcelo, R.
Figueiredo, LFP de
Ortiz, V
Srougi, M.
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Purpose: We created an experimental model of urethral defect and then repaired it using a tunica vaginalis graft applied on the dorsal surface of the urethra. We studied the histological and radiological characteristics of free tunica vaginalis graft urethroplasty.Materials and Methods: in 20 New Zealand rabbits a dorsal urethral defect was created by excising a portion of the dorsal urethral surface. the tunica vaginalis graft was placed dorsally over the corpora cavernosa and tied with 4 interrupted sutures. the mucosal margin of the urethral defect was sutured to the graft using 6-zero polydioxanone sutures in continuous fashion. the animals were divided into 4 equal groups and were sacrificed 14 days, and 4, 8 and 12 weeks after surgery, respectively. A retrograde urethrogram was done at autopsy. the penis was sent for histological analysis and an experienced pathologist evaluated the severity of acute and chronic inflammation, foreign body reaction and scar formation.Results: There were no deaths related to the procedure and no intraoperative complications. All rabbits voided spontaneously after surgery. Retrograde urethrograms showed no fistula or stricture. As time after surgery increased, the signs of inflammation response disappeared, and the orientation of collagen fibrils and smooth muscle fascicles resembled that of a normal urethra. the mesothelial lining of the tunica vaginalis gradually became replaced by a more stratified epithelial lining, similar to the urothelial lining of the native urethra.Conclusions: in the current study we noted that a tunica vaginalis graft placed dorsally can be a successful urethral substitute in the animal model.
Journal of Urology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, v. 174, n. 2, p. 765-770, 2005.