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Fibrin versus polyethylene glycol sealant: an experimental study in rabbits


Beer, Gertrude M; Schneller, Maria; Cristina-Schmitz, Heidi; Hug, Urs; Mihic-Probst, Daniela (2008). Fibrin versus polyethylene glycol sealant: an experimental study in rabbits. European Journal of Plastic Surgery, 31(5):243-248.

Abstract

Fibrin glue has been applied universally in general surgery as an adhesive, hemostatic, or embolizing agent. In reconstructive surgery, fibrin has been used mainly for nerve and microvascular repair or as a substitute for sutures in skin closure and skin grafting. Another area of increasing use is in face-lift surgery, where the goal is to improve hemostasis on the raw surfaces and to discourage the occurrence of major hematomas. However, as most components of the fibrin glue are derived from human or bovine plasma, they may cause allergic reactions and transmit infectious agents such as hepatitis or AIDS virus, or prions such as the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agent. With these risks in mind, we tested polyethylene glycol (PEG) sealant, a recently introduced and purely synthetic vascular sealant, as an alternative to fibrin glue. A 2 × 2 cm subcutaneous pocket was created on the dorsal thighs of ten New Zealand White rabbits by an incision medial to the sciatic vein. The pockets were randomly filled with either 0.2 ml of thawed fibrin glue or PEG sealant. After the operation, the thighs were inspected macroscopically for hematoma, seroma, or granuloma formation. Eleven weeks later, the animals were killed, and the fibrin and polyethylene glycol-filled pockets were harvested en bloc with the overlying skin and processed for histological examination. A swelling, viewed macroscopically, was visible at the experimental site in three thighs of the fibrin group, but in none of the PEG group. Only two specimens of the fibrin group and five specimens of the PEG group showed no signs of inflammation. All other specimens revealed signs of chronic or granulomatous inflammation, with no significant difference between the groups. This experimental study showed that 11 weeks after application of either fibrin or PEG sealant, signs of chronic or even granulomatous inflammation were detectable in 2/3 of the specimens in the fibrin group and in approximately 50% of the specimens in the PEG group. Beyond the comparable potential of both sealants to induce inflammatory tissue reactions, PEG sealant has some notable advantages as it is purely synthetic and therefore carries no risk of transmission of viral pathogens or prions. The combination of this safety profile, the ease of application, and the consistently good reported hemostatic results obtained with PEG sealant makes it an interesting alternative to fibrin glue in plastic surgery.

Abstract

Fibrin glue has been applied universally in general surgery as an adhesive, hemostatic, or embolizing agent. In reconstructive surgery, fibrin has been used mainly for nerve and microvascular repair or as a substitute for sutures in skin closure and skin grafting. Another area of increasing use is in face-lift surgery, where the goal is to improve hemostasis on the raw surfaces and to discourage the occurrence of major hematomas. However, as most components of the fibrin glue are derived from human or bovine plasma, they may cause allergic reactions and transmit infectious agents such as hepatitis or AIDS virus, or prions such as the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agent. With these risks in mind, we tested polyethylene glycol (PEG) sealant, a recently introduced and purely synthetic vascular sealant, as an alternative to fibrin glue. A 2 × 2 cm subcutaneous pocket was created on the dorsal thighs of ten New Zealand White rabbits by an incision medial to the sciatic vein. The pockets were randomly filled with either 0.2 ml of thawed fibrin glue or PEG sealant. After the operation, the thighs were inspected macroscopically for hematoma, seroma, or granuloma formation. Eleven weeks later, the animals were killed, and the fibrin and polyethylene glycol-filled pockets were harvested en bloc with the overlying skin and processed for histological examination. A swelling, viewed macroscopically, was visible at the experimental site in three thighs of the fibrin group, but in none of the PEG group. Only two specimens of the fibrin group and five specimens of the PEG group showed no signs of inflammation. All other specimens revealed signs of chronic or granulomatous inflammation, with no significant difference between the groups. This experimental study showed that 11 weeks after application of either fibrin or PEG sealant, signs of chronic or even granulomatous inflammation were detectable in 2/3 of the specimens in the fibrin group and in approximately 50% of the specimens in the PEG group. Beyond the comparable potential of both sealants to induce inflammatory tissue reactions, PEG sealant has some notable advantages as it is purely synthetic and therefore carries no risk of transmission of viral pathogens or prions. The combination of this safety profile, the ease of application, and the consistently good reported hemostatic results obtained with PEG sealant makes it an interesting alternative to fibrin glue in plastic surgery.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Pathology and Molecular Pathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:20 Jul 2012 15:42
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:47
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0930-343X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00238-008-0265-8

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