Catherine Austin

Carolinas Medical Center University, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (10)28.4 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair requires an intraperitoneal prosthetic; however, these materials are not without consequences. We evaluated host reaction to intraperitoneal placement of various prosthetics and the functional outcomes in an animal model. Mesh (n = 15 per mesh type) was implanted on intact peritoneum in New Zealand white rabbits. The mesh types included ePTFE (DualMesh), ePTFE and polypropylene (Composix), polypropylene and oxidized regenerated cellulose (Proceed), and polypropylene (Marlex). Adhesion formation was evaluated at 1, 4, 8, and 16 weeks using 2-mm mini-laparoscopy. Adhesion area, adhesion tenacity, prosthetic shrinkage, and compliance were evaluated after mesh explantation at 16 weeks. DualMesh had significantly less adhesions than Proceed, Composix, or Marlex at 1, 4, 8, and 16 weeks (P < 0.0001). Marlex had significantly more adhesions than other meshes at each time point (P < 0.0001). There were no statistically significant differences in adhesions between Proceed and Composix meshes. After mesh explantation, the mean area of adhesions for Proceed (4.6%) was less than for Marlex (21.7%; P = 0.001). The adhesions to Marlex were statistically more tenacious than the DualMesh and Composix groups. Overall prosthetic shrinkage was statistically greater for DualMesh (34.7%) than for the remaining mesh types (P < 0.01). Mesh compliance was similar between the groups. Prosthetic materials demonstrate a wide variety of characteristics when placed inside the abdomen. Marlex formed more adhesions with greater tenacity than the other mesh types. DualMesh resulted in minimal adhesions, but it shrank more than the other mesh types. Each prosthetic generates a varied host reaction. Better understanding of these reactions can allow a suitable prosthetic to be chosen for a given patient in clinical practice.
    The American surgeon 10/2006; 72(9):808-13; discussion 813-4. · 0.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to evaluate fixation methods for polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) mesh with an in vivo model of laparoscopic ventral hernia repair. In 40 New Zealand white rabbits, a 4 x 4-cm ePTFE mesh (n = 80, two per animal) was attached to an intact peritoneum with polyglactin 910 (PG 910) (n = 20) or polypropylene (PP) (n = 20) suture, titanium spiral tacks (TS) (n = 20), or nitinol anchors (NA) (n = 20). Mesh was harvested at 8 and 16 weeks for fixation strength testing, adhesion assessment, and collagen (hydroxyproline) content. Fixation strength on day 0 was determined with mesh attached to harvested abdominal wall. Statistical significance was determined as p < 0.05. There was no difference in fixation strength between PP (39.1 N) and PG 910 (40.0 N) sutures at time zero. At week 8, PP (25.7 N) was significantly stronger (p < 0.05) than PG 910 (11.4 N) suture, but not at week 16. The fixation strength of TS and NA (day 0, 15.4 vs 7.4 N; week 8, 17.5 vs 15.3 N; week 16, 19.1 vs 13.8 N) was not significantly different. Fixation with PP suture was significantly (p < 0.05) stronger than that with TS and NA at day 0 (39.1, 15.4, and 7.4 N, respectively) but not at weeks 8 or 16. The fixation strength of suture decreased significantly (p < 0.05) from day 0 to week 16 (PP: day 0 = 39.1 N, week 8 = 25.7 N, week 16 = 21.4 N; PG 910: day 0 = 40.0 N, week 8 = 11.4 N, week 16 = 12.8 N). The fixation strength of NA and TS did not change significantly (NA: day 0 = 7.4 N, week 8 = 15.3 N, week 16 = 13.8 N; TS: week 0 = 15.4 N, week 8 = 17.5 N, week 16 = 19.1 N). There were no differences in adhesion area based on fixation device used; however, there were more (p < 0.05) mesh samples using NA with adhesions compared to TS and adhesion tenacity was greater (p < 0.05) compared to that of TS, PP, and PG. Hydroxyproline content at weeks 8 and 16 was similar for all fixation devices. The initial fixation strength for nonabsorbable suture is significantly greater than that of the metallic fixation devices, but after 8 weeks there is no difference. Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair without transabdominal suture fixation may be predisposed to acute failure. The metallic devices have similar fixation strength, although the incidence of adhesions and tenacity of adhesions appear to be greater with the nitinol anchors. Since these devices have similar fixation strengths and most likely provide adequate supplementation to transabdominal sutures for mesh fixation after laparoscopic ventral hernia repair, their use should be based on other factors, such as their propensity for adhesions, ease of application, and cost.
    Surgical Endoscopy 06/2005; 19(6):780-5. DOI:10.1007/s00464-004-8927-5 · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the use of a sterile technique and the administration of prophylactic antibiotics during surgical procedures, mesh infection continues to complicate the use of biomaterials. The purpose of this study was to compare the susceptibility to infection of prosthetic biomaterials in a live-animal model. The following seven prosthetic mesh biomaterials were used in this study. Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) with silver/chlorhexidine (DM+), ePTFE (DM), porcine intestinal submucosa (S), polypropylene (M), ePTFE/polypropylene (X), hyaluronate/carboxymethylcellulose/polypropylene (SM), and human acellular dermal matrix (A). Lewis rats (n = 108) underwent creation of a single ventral hernia; 105 of them were repaired with a different mesh (2-cm2 piece). Twelve pieces of each mesh were inoculated at the time of hernia repair with 10(8) Staphylococcus aureus (n = 84). Three pieces of each mesh were placed without bacterial inoculation (n = 21). In three animals, no mesh was placed; instead, the peritoneum of the hernia defect was inoculated (n = 3). After 5 days, the animals were killed and the mesh was explanted (peritoneum for the nonmesh control). The mesh was vortex-washed and incubated in tryptic soy broth. Bacterial counts were determined using serial dilutions and spot plates and quantified in colony-forming units (CFU) per square centimeter of mesh present in the vortex wash fluid (wash count) and the soy broth (broth count). Data are presented as the mean log(10), with analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey's test used to determine significance (p < 0.05). The DM+ material had no detectable live bacteria in the wash or broth counts in 10 of 12 tested samples (p = 0.05). Of the samples that showed bacterial growth, the peritoneum control group had a lower wash count than A (p = 0.05) and the lowest broth count of all the materials except for DM+ (p = 0.05). In addition, SM had a significantly lower wash count than A (p = 0.05), with no broth count difference. In regard to wash and broth counts, DM, M, X, SM, S, and A were no different (p = NS). The DM+ material was the least susceptible to infection. Impregnation with silver/chlorhexidine killed the inoculated bacteria, preventing their proliferation on the mesh surface. Other than DM+, native peritoneal tissue appears to be the least susceptible to infection. Silver/chlorhexidine appears to be an effective bactericidal agent for use with mesh biomaterials.
    Surgical Endoscopy 04/2005; 19(3):430-5. DOI:10.1007/s00464-004-8810-4 · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) pneumoperitoneum and wound closure technique on port site tumor implantation. A standard quantity of rat mammary adenocarcinoma (SMT2A)was allowed to grow in a flank incision in Wistar-Furth rats (n = 90) for 14 days. Thereafter, 1-cm incisions were made in each animal in three quadrants. There were six control animals. The experimental animals were divided into a 60-min CO2 pneumoperitoneum group (n = 42) and a no pneumoperitoneum (n = 42) group. The flank tumor was lacerated transabdominally in the experimental groups. The three wound sites were randomized to closure of (a) skin; (b) skin and fascia; and (c) skin, fascia, and peritoneum. The abdominal wounds were harvested en bloc on postoperative day 7. Histologic comparison of the port sites in the pneumoperitoneum and no-pneumoperitoneum groups did not demonstrate a statistically significant difference in tumor implantation for any of the closure methods. Evaluation of the closure techniques showed no statistical difference between the pneumoperitoneum group and the no-pneumoperitoneum group in the incidence of port site tumor implantation. Within the no-pneumoperitoneum group, there was a significant increase (p = 0.03) in tumor implantation with skin closure alone vs all three layers. Additionally, when we compared all groups by closure technique, the rate of tumor implantation was found to be significantly higher (p = 0.01) for skin closure alone vs closure of all three layers. This study suggests that closure technique may influence the rate of port site tumor implantation. The use of a CO2 pneumoperitoneum did not alter the incidence of port site tumor implantation at 7 days postoperatively.
    Surgical Endoscopy 04/2005; 19(3):441-7. DOI:10.1007/s00464-004-8937-3 · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to measure the extent of adhesion formation to ePTFE mesh (DualMesh, W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc, Flagstaff, AZ) and two composite prosthetic materials, ePTFE and polypropylene (Bard Composix, C.R. Bard, Inc, Murray Hill, NJ) and hyaluronic acid/carboxymethylcellulose and polypropylene (Sepramesh, Genzyme Corp, Cambridge, MA) after their intra-abdominal placement on an intact peritoneum, simulating laparoscopic ventral hernia repair, and to evaluate host tissue response to the prosthetic biomaterials. Through a midline laparotomy, a 2 x 2 cm piece of mesh (n = 60) was sewn to an intact peritoneum on each side of a midline incision in 30 New Zealand white rabbits. Mesh adhesions were scored using a modified Diamond scale (0 = 0%, 1 = 1-25%, 2 = 26-50%, 3 >50%) at 1, 3, 9, and 16 weeks by serial microlaparoscopy (2 mm). All laparoscopic evaluations were videotaped for blinded scoring by three surgeons. Host tissue response was graded (1-4) for inflammation, tissue ingrowth, and mesothelialization. The predominant cell type (polymorphonuclear leukocytes versus foreign body giant cell) was recorded. Statistical differences (P value <0.05*) were measured using a two-tailed t test and Kruskal-Wallis test. The mean adhesion score was significantly (P < 0.001) less for ePTFE mesh at 1, 3, 9, and 16 weeks compared with the two composite prosthetic materials. There were no differences in the mean adhesion scores between the two biosurgical composite meshes at any of the time intervals. There were no differences in the mean score for inflammation, tissue ingrowth and mesothelialization between any of the prosthetic biomaterials. The predominant cell type on all histological evaluations was polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Placing ePTFE mesh (DualMesh) intra-abdominal against an intact peritoneum results in significantly fewer adhesions than the composite prosthetic meshes during a 4-month follow-up. The host tissue response is equivalent for the three prosthetic biomaterials. The long-term consequences of increased adhesion formation to the composite meshes and the ultimate biocompatibility of the nonabsorbable and absorbable barriers on the polypropylene mesh are to be determined.
    Journal of Surgical Research 03/2005; 123(2):227-34. DOI:10.1016/j.jss.2004.08.012 · 1.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Our study purpose was to quantify the effects of diuretics and vasodilators on renal function during hand-assisted laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (HALDN) in a porcine model.Methods: Animals undergoing left HALDN had urine output (UO,mL/Kg/min) and creatinine clearance (CrCl,mL/min) values of each kidney serially measured, independently. Measurements were obtained after 30 minutes of baseline pneumoperitoneum, after renal vessel isolation, after 15 minutes of desufflation, and after 30 minutes of desufflation, following left nephrectomy. Swine (n = 28) were divided into: Group I:no medications. Group II:intravenous mannitol prior to, and furosemide after vessel isolation. Group III:perihilar papaverine-soaked gauze placed for 15 minutes prior to vascular dissection/isolation. Group IV:mannitol, furosemide, and papaverine gauze. Standard statistical methods determined intragroup differences (p < 0.05) in CrCl and UO.Results: Bilateral CrCl decreased during surgery, with no differences between the groups. Only the right kidneys recovered to baseline CrCl after release of pneumoperitoneum. Total UO was lower in the left compared to the right, non-operated kidney in Groups I (0.20 vs 0.31, p = 0.003), II (0.65 vs 1.26, p = 0.007), III (0.45 vs 0.82, p = 0.01), and IV (0.87 vs 1.38, p = 0.01). Total UO from the left kidney was greater in the diuretics plus papaverine (0.87) and diuretics alone groups (0.65) compared to papaverine alone (0.45) or control (0.20) (p = 0.0001). A similar observation occurred in the right kidney.Conclusions: Pneumoperitoneum with renal and vascular manipulation impacts renal function of both kidneys during HALDN. Mannitol and furosemide alone, or in combination with papaverine, attenuates these adverse effects, possibly preserving the renal function of both the allograft and contralateral kidney during HALDN.
    Journal of the American College of Surgeons 09/2004; 199(3):96-96. DOI:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2004.05.210 · 5.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The thiocarbamate alcoholism drug disulfiram blocks the P-glycoprotein extrusion pump, inhibits the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB, sensitizes tumors to chemotherapy, reduces angiogenesis, and inhibits tumor growth in mice. Thiocarbamates react with critical thiols and also complex metal ions. Using melanoma as the paradigm, we tested whether disulfiram might inhibit growth by forming mixed disulfides with critical thiols in a mechanism facilitated by metal ions. Disulfiram given to melanoma cells in combination with Cu2+ or Zn2+ decreased expression of cyclin A and reduced proliferation in vitro at lower concentrations than disulfiram alone. In electrophoretic mobility shift assays, disulfiram decreased transcription factor binding to the cyclic AMP-responsive element in a manner potentiated by Cu2+ ions and by the presence of glutathione, suggesting that thiocarbamates might disrupt transcription factor binding by inducing S-glutathionylation of the transcription factor DNA binding region. Disulfiram inhibited growth and angiogenesis in melanomas transplanted in severe combined immunodeficient mice, and these effects were potentiated by Zn2+ supplementation. The combination of oral zinc gluconate and disulfiram at currently approved doses for alcoholism also induced >50% reduction in hepatic metastases and produced clinical remission in a patient with stage IV metastatic ocular melanoma, who has continued on oral zinc gluconate and disulfiram therapy for 53 continuous months with negligible side effects. These findings present a novel strategy for treating metastatic melanoma by employing an old drug toward a new therapeutic use.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 09/2004; 3(9):1049-60. · 5.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The type of incisional instrument used to create a surgical wound can influence the rate of wound healing and overall wound strength. The purpose of this study was to evaluate several facets of wound healing within incisions created in the small intestine, uterus, and skin in a porcine model by using feedback circuit electrosurgical generators and a standard steel scalpel blade in a porcine model. Eighteen pigs were evaluated by creating surgical incisions in the skin, uterus, and small intestine utilizing 2 computerized electrosurgical generators (FX, ValleyLab, Boulder, CO, and PEGASYS, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., Cincinnati, OH) and a scalpel blade. All incisions were reapproximated with absorbable suture. Incision sites were evaluated histologically at 3, 7, or 14 days postincision according to randomization. The skin and small intestine samples were tested for wound tensile strength at 7 and 14 days. There were no statistically significant differences demonstrated with tensile strength testing comparing the electrosurgical devices to the scalpel-blade incisions for skin or small intestine at all time points. The only significant difference detected with respect to wound tensile strength was when different organ types were compared, regardless of device used (i.e., skin, 19.5 N/cm2 vs. small intestine, 5.78 N/cm2). Histologic evaluation demonstrated that the wounds created by the electrosurgical generators displayed decreased overall wound healing at 3, 7, and 14 days compared to the scalpel group. These findings indicate that the electrosurgical devices tested delay wound healing at the surgical site, but fail to demonstrate any significant difference in overall wound tensile strength. Wound healing may occur at a more rapid rate when a traditional scalpel blade is used to create the surgical incision, but no difference in global wound dynamics could be detected.
    The American surgeon 01/2004; 69(12):1054-60. · 0.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Soft tissue reconstruction using tissue-engineered constructs requires the development of materials that are biocompatible and support cell adhesion and growth. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of macroporous hydrogel fragments that were formed using either unmodified alginate or alginate covalently linked with the fibronectin cell adhesion peptide RGD (alginate-RGD). These materials were injected into the subcutaneous space of adult, domesticated female sheep and harvested for histological comparisons at 1 and 3 months. In addition, the alginate-RGD porous fragments were seeded with autologous sheep preadipocytes isolated from the omentum, and these cell-based constructs were also implanted. The results from this study indicate that both the alginate and alginate-RGD subcutaneous implants supported tissue and vascular ingrowth. Furthermore, at all time points of the experiment, a minimal inflammatory response and capsule formation surrounding the implant were observed. The implanted materials also maintained their sizes over the 3-month study period. In addition, the alginate-RGD fragments supported the adhesion and proliferation of sheep preadipocytes, and adipose tissue was present within the transplant site of these cellular constructs, which was not present within the biomaterial control sites.
    Tissue Engineering 05/2002; 8(2):309-19. DOI:10.1089/107632702753725067 · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tissue engineered biomaterial constructs are needed for plastic and reconstructive applications. To successfully form a space-filling tissue, the construct should induce a minimal inflammatory response, create minimal or no fibrotic capsule, and establish a vascular bed within the first few days after implantation to ensure survival of the implanted cells. In addition, the biomaterial should support cellular adhesion and induce tissue ingrowth. A macroporous hydrogel bead using sodium alginate covalently coupled with an arginine, glycine, and aspartic acid-containing peptide was created. A 6-month subcutaneous rat model study was performed to determine if the implanted material induced tissue ingrowth throughout the implantation area and maintained a three-dimensional vascular bed. The implanted materials produced a vascular bed, minimal inflammation and capsule formation, and good tissue ingrowth throughout the experiment. The material retained its bulking capacity by demonstration of no significant change of the cross-sectional area as measured from the center of the implants after the 2-week time point. In addition, the granulation tissue formed around the implant was loosely organized, and the surrounding tissue had integrated well with the implant. These results indicate that this material has the desired properties for the development of soft-tissue-engineering constructs.
    Journal of Biomedical Materials Research 01/2002; 57(4):575-81. DOI:10.1002/1097-4636(20011215)57:4<575::AID-JBM1204>3.0.CO;2-9