Background: Compared to the original donor skin, morphological change will occurr when human skin is grafted to the nude mouse. Stereology is a set of statistical tools, which allows quantitative information to be obtained from the epidermis at the light microscope level. This study was designed to establish reference values for the volume and thickness of the epidermis contained within a four-millimetre punch biopsy from grafted skin by use of stereology.
Methods: Four-millimetre punch biopsies were taken from 12 grafted skin, fixed in formalin and embedded in paraffin. The volume and thickness of the epidermis were established stereologically.
Results: The volume and thickness of the epidermis of the graft skin were significantly larger than those before graft (P all <0.05).
Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that the grafted skin can be adapted to serve a mechanical function. Stereology could prove invaluable in the unbiased assessment of morphological changes of the graft.
This study was supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81271729).