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Tissue-Engineered Urethral Graft in Boys Effective

Graft appears normal in three months, lasts up to six years

TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Tubularized urethras engineered from boys' own cells appear to be functional and viable for up to six years, according to research published online March 8 in The Lancet.

Atlantida Raya-Rivera, M.D., of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues created urethras from tissue biopsies of five boys (median age at time of surgery, 11 years) with urethral defects and conducted urethral reconstruction on the boys with the tissue-engineered tubularized urethras to assess the effectiveness of this procedure.

Biopsies revealed that both epithelial and muscle cells were present in the reconstructed urethras. At the end of the median 71-month follow-up, the researchers found that all boys were continent, with a maximum urinary flow rate of 27.1 mL/s. Within three months of implantation, the grafts had developed an architecture that appeared normal.

"Tubularized urethras can be engineered and remain functional in a clinical setting for up to six years. These engineered urethras can be used in patients who need complex urethral reconstruction," the authors write.

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