Objective To determine the functional potential and antigenicity of the homologous bladder acellular matrix graft (BAMG) in a dog model.
Materials and methods Seven mongrel dogs underwent partial cystectomy (20–50%) and grafting with an equal-sized BAMG; two control animals underwent partial cystectomy (40%) only. The dogs were killed after 30 (one), 120 (one) and 210 days (five dogs). Blood samples were obtained before and at 1, 2, 4, 7, 14, 30, 90 and 210 days after surgery. The dogs underwent cystography, intravenous pyelography and ultrasonography before and after surgery, and on the day they were killed, with cystoscopy carried out just before death. The grafted tissue was assessed using routine and immunohistochemical techniques.
Results All the dogs survived surgery; a complete blood cell count, chemical panel and white blood cell count showed no significant difference between the experimental and control animals. Cystography, cystoscopy and ultrasonography revealed no pathological changes in the upper urinary tract. After 7 months, the mean bladder capacity in the augmented dogs was significantly higher (P = 0.035) than in the controls (264 vs 172 mL). Histological evaluation showed an invasion of all bladder wall components during the first month; at 7 months, the morphological examination showed essentially complete regeneration.
Conclusion In this dog model, the potential of the BAMG as a bladder augmentation graft was confirmed, having minimal antigenicity with maximal acceptance. The reconstructed bladder matched the morphological and functional properties of the normal bladder.