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Sutureless coronary artery bypass with biologic glued anastomoses: Preliminary in vivo and in vitro results

Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
DOI: 10.1067/mtc.2000.108596
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Objective: As heart surgery becomes increasingly focused on minimally invasive techniques, it has become apparent that conventional techniques of anastomosis will need to be severely altered or abandoned. Toward that end, we developed and tested in vitro and in vivo coronary artery bypass graft anastomoses using a biologic glue formulated from bovine albumin and glutaraldehyde. We used a double-balloon catheter as a temporary internal stent to create and seal the anastomosis during gluing. Methods: Initially, anastomoses were made between cryopreserved human saphenous vein segments and coronary arteries in vitro on 12 intact bovine hearts. A total of 42 anastomoses were created with the catheter system introduced into the distal end of the graft, exiting the back wall, and entering the anterior wall of the coronary artery. Two balloons (one in the graft and one in the coronary artery) held the anastomosis stable while the biologic glue was applied externally and allowed to set for 2 minutes. The balloon catheter was then removed from the end of the graft simulating a side-to-side internal thoracic artery anastomosis. After the graft had been flushed to assure distal end patency, the open end of the graft was clipped, turning the anastomosis into an end-to-side graft. A pressure transducer was then attached to the graft and saline solution forcefully infused. Results: All grafts easily held a pressure of 300 mm Hg; 10 grafts were tested up to 560 mm Hg without leaks. Distal and proximal coronary artery patency was checked by examining flow out of the coronary ostia and by cutting arteries distal to the grafts. All anastomoses were patent on being opened and no glue was seen intraluminally. Subsequently, 3 anastomoses of the left internal thoracic artery to the left anterior descending artery have been constructed in goats, with autopsies at 24 hours, 10 months, and 1 year revealing patent anastomoses. Conclusion: A biologic glue and catheter system has been developed that allows a coronary anastomosis with a high bursting strength to be performed. When the system has been further developed and tested, truly minimally invasive heart surgery may be possible. (J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2000;120:473-7)

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