[Subcutaneous preservation of an amputated auricle. Morphological changes].

Research paper by R R Staudenmaier, J J Aigner, J J Hölzl, V V Schilling, N N Rotter, A A Naumann, E E Kastenbauer

Indexed on: 06 Jun '00Published on: 06 Jun '00Published in: Laryngo- rhino- otologie


Microsurgical replantation of an avulsed auricle remains a challenge in reconstructive surgery. Secondary reconstruction of a traumatic lost auricle is usually performed using a costal cartilage framework according to well documented techniques or with a prosthesis. In order to minimize donor-site morbidity, various efforts can be undertaken to preserve the amputated auricle by implanting the de-epithelialized cartilage framework in a subcutaneous pocket on the surface of the mastoid. Where preservation is successful, this original cartilage could be used for reconstructive treatment.This study describes the histologic and immunohistologic changes in a complete traumatic avulsion of the auricle with subsequent cartilage conservation for eight months within a skin pocket. Trauma, preparation and preservation were accompanied by morphologic changes that included generation of local ossification centers and infiltration of fibrous tissue. We compared the macroscopic and microscopic morphology of the amputated part to native elastic cartilage following maximal denutrition and temporary heterotopic implantation in conjunction with atypical tension and pressure properties of the retroauricular pocket.In this case, the limited success of cartilage conservation in the subcutaneous pocket required conventional auricle reconstruction with autologous costal cartilage.