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Development of a porcine animal model for urethral stricture repair using autologous urothelial cells

Seibold, J;Selent, C;Feil, G;Wiedemann, J;Colleselli, D;Mundhenk, J;Gakis, G;Sievert, KD;Schwentner, C;Stenzl, A;

To present a versatile large animal model for endoscopic stricture repair using autologous urothelial cells. 12 male minipigs were used. An artificial stricture model was established using suture-ligation, thermo-coagulation and internal urethrotomy. A vesicostomy served for urinary diversion. Stricture formation was confirmed radiologically and histologically. Autologous urothelial cells were harvested from bladder washings, cultivated and labeled. Internal urethrotomy was done in all, and the cultivated cells were injected into the urethrotomy wound. All animals were sacrificed after 4 or 8 weeks. Immunohistology was done to confirm the presence of autologous urothelial cells within the reconstituted urethra. Stricture formation was verified with all three methods. Histologically, no significant differences in the severity of stricture development could be observed with regard to the method used. The autologous urothelial cells in the area of the urethrotomy could be detected in the urothelium and the corpus spongiosum until 8 weeks after re-implantation. We created a reliable and reproducible porcine model for artificial urethral strictures. Autologous urothelial cells can be implanted into an artificial stricture after urethrotomy. These cells retain their epithelial phenotype and are integrated in the resident urothelium. Further comparative studies are needed to ultimately determine a superior efficacy of this novel approach.