Interposition grafts for rectovaginal fistula repair in the New Zealand white rabbit

Matthew J. Aungst, Jeremy J. Bearss, Bridget S. Lewis, John R. Fischer, Michael R. Bonhage, Johnnie Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction and hypothesis: The objective was to use an animal model to study different types of interposition grafts for rectovaginal fistula repair. Methods: Twelve New Zealand white rabbits underwent surgical creation of a rectovaginal fistula, followed by repair. Four repair techniques were studied; three with interposition grafts and one control group without a graft. Animals were euthanized at 4-week intervals and underwent gross and histologic analysis. Results: The mean rectovaginal wall thickness was greatest in the control group (5.6 mm) and thinnest in the autologous rectus fascia (4.2 mm) and porcine small intestine submucosa (5.1 mm) groups. The polypropylene graft had a mean thickness of 5.4 mm and elicited a strong, protracted inflammatory response. All fistulas were successfully closed except one porcine small intestine submucosa repair. Conclusions: There is no benefit from interposition graft use for rectovaginal fistula repair in our New Zealand white rabbit model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-742
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding This project was funded by a $10,000 grant from the Walter Reed Department of Clinical Investigation. Research oversight for this project was conducted by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology; IACUC #08AK.


  • Animal
  • Bioprosthesis
  • Fistula
  • Models
  • New Zealand white rabbit
  • Rectovaginal fistula
  • Xenograft


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