The Scalp as a Donor Site: Revisited

Juan Brou, R. L. McCauley, D. N. Herndon, M. H. Desai, R. L. Rutan, Brian Stenberg, Linda G. Phillips, M. C. Robson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The scalp cannot be used as skin graft donor site with impunity. A review of 2, 620 charts identified 194 pediatric patients whose scalps served as donor sites for split-thickness skin grafts for the treatment of acute burns. The overall incidence of alopecia was 32%. However, the incidence of alopecia in unburned scalps was 13%. The occurrence of alopecia in this group was associated with larger burn area requiring more frequent use of the scalp and shorter intervals between graft harvests (p < 0.05). Among this group of patients (n = 15), nine had mild spotty alopecia, four had surgically correctable alopecia, and two had global patchy alopecia not amenable to surgical correction. In the patients with concomitant burns to their scalps, the incidence of alopecia was 61%. Whether the burn or the graft harvest caused alopecia could not be established. Meticulous donor site care is mandatory in this latter group when the scalp donor site is indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-581
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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