Skin autografts stored up to three weeks at 4 C are regularly used in surgical practice. With the introduction of antilymphocyte serum (ALS), clinical use of skin allografts has become a practical possibility. In certain situations, such as burns, stored allografts may be superior to autografts, especially from the supply viewpoint. There is no precise information available on the behavior of stored allografts, even though there have been suggestions in the literature1 that the survival time may not be the same as for fresh allografts. Also, several workers have recently demonstrated antigenic changes in skin grafts after apparently simple in vitro manipulations.2-4 In view of these considerations, a systematic study of the survival time of skin allografts stored for various periods of time was undertaken.
Materials and Methods
Female, adult, Sprague-Dawley rats were used as donors throughout, and female, adult, Long-Evans rats as recipients. Skin was either grafted