Objective: Devices that reduce technical difficulty and
anastigmatic time when repairing large vessels such as the thoracic
aorta would be beneficial. The aim of this study was to determine if
titanium vascular closure staples (3 mm) could be safely and quickly
applied in the repair of large vessels such as the thoracic aorta.
Design: Through a left thoracotomy in 10 female swine (110
to 130 lb), an interposition graft (14 to 16 mm textile) was placed
into the aorta distal to the left subclavian artery. Animals were
randomized at the time of repair to either running sutures (n = 5;
6–0 polypropylene) or vascular closure staples (n = 5; 3 mm). The
anastomosis was evaluated after 2 months with aortograms, and the aorta
was harvested to evaluate healing.
Results: The clamp
times (mean ± SD) were 30.8 ± 8.2 min for suture repair and
24.8 ± 5.1 min for vascular closure staple repair (p = 0.2).
Anastomosis times were 20.0 ± 6.2 min for the suture group and
16.4 ± 6.4 min for the vascular closure staple group (p = 0.4).
Arch aortograms at 2 months revealed no significant difference in
luminal narrowing between the two groups. Gross and microscopic
examination revealed no thrombosis, well-healed wounds with a
continuous intimal layer, and no differences in intimal thickness or
inflammation between the two groups.
Vascular closure staples were equivalent to sutures in terms of
durability, graft patency, and wound healing at 2 months. Vascular
closure staples may offer the trauma surgeon a quick and easy
alternative when repairing large vessels such as the thoracic