Placental membrane grafts for urethral replacement in a rabbit model: a pilot study

  • Chad R. Pusateri
  • Alexander D. Doudt
  • Steven Gauerke
  • Kurt McCammon
  • Xiaofei Qin
  • Britini Ork
  • Joseph M. Khoury
  • Anthony D. May
  • Jack M. ZuckermanEmail author
Topic Paper



Several graft materials are available for use in the treatment of urethral stricture disease. Placental membrane is being used in a variety of settings as a graft in wound healing and tissue repair. We aim to evaluate the effect of implanting decellularized human placental membrane into rabbit urethras.


Dorsal onlay graft urethroplasty using prepared human placental membrane was performed in 10 New Zealand White rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). After 3 months, the rabbits underwent cystourethroscopy to evaluate urethral patency. The rabbits were then euthanized and the urethras examined for pathological findings.


All urethroplasties were performed without complication. There were no observed episodes of urinary retention, infection, or renal failure. Urethral patency was achieved in all rabbits 3 months postoperatively. Urothelial replacement of the placental membrane graft was observed in all rabbits without malignant transformation.


Dorsal onlay urethroplasty using decellularized human placental membrane can safely be performed in a rabbit model. This pilot study demonstrated urothelial replacement of human placental membrane in the rabbit urethra without stricture formation. Placental membrane is a promising biomaterial for urethral reconstruction.


Urethroplasty Placental membrane Grafts 


Author contributions

CRP: protocol/project development, data collection or management, data analysis, and manuscript writing/editing. ADD: protocol/project development, data collection or management, data analysis, and manuscript writing/editing. SG: data collection or management, data analysis, and manuscript writing/editing. KM: protocol/project development. XQ: protocol/project development and manuscript writing/editing. BO: protocol/project development. JMK: protocol/project development and manuscript writing/editing. ADM: data collection or management and manuscript writing/editing. JMZ: protocol/project development, data collection or management, data analysis, and manuscript writing/editing.


Institutional. Prepared placental membranes provided by LifeNet Health® (Virginia Beach, VA).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The views expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the United States Government. Xiaofei Qin, Britini Ork, Joseph M. Khoury are employees of LifeNet Health® (Virginia Beach, VA). The remaining authors declare that they have no relevant financial interests. This abstract was presented as a podium presentation at AUA 2018.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chad R. Pusateri
    • 1
  • Alexander D. Doudt
    • 1
  • Steven Gauerke
    • 1
    • 5
  • Kurt McCammon
    • 2
  • Xiaofei Qin
    • 3
  • Britini Ork
    • 3
  • Joseph M. Khoury
    • 3
  • Anthony D. May
    • 4
  • Jack M. Zuckerman
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of UrologyNaval Medical Center San DiegoSan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of UrologyEastern Virginia Medical SchoolVirginia BeachUSA
  3. 3.LifeNet Health®Virginia BeachUSA
  4. 4.Division of Animal ResourcesNaval Medical Center San DiegoSan DiegoUSA
  5. 5.Department of PathologyNaval Medical Center San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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