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Open Access Research article

Assessment of the effect on blood loss and transfusion requirements when adding a polyethylene glycol sealant to the anastomotic closure of aortic procedures: a case–control analysis of 102 patients undergoing Bentall procedures

Ehsan Natour1*, Michael Suedkamp2 and Otto E Dapunt3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

2 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Universitaetsklinikum Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

3 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Klinikum Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany

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Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 2012, 7:105  doi:10.1186/1749-8090-7-105

Published: 8 October 2012

Abstract

Background

The use of CoSeal®, a polyethylene glycol sealant, in cardiac and vascular surgery for prevention of anastomotic bleeding has been subject to prior investigations. We analysed our perioperative data to determine the clinical benefit of using polyethylene glycol sealant to inhibit suture line bleeding in aortic surgery.

Methods

From January 2004 to June 2006, 124 patients underwent aortic surgical procedures such as full root replacements, reconstruction and/or replacement of ascending aorta and aortic arch procedures. A Bentall procedure was employed in 102 of these patients. In 48 of these, a polyethylene glycol sealant was added to the anastomotic closure of the aortic procedure (sealant group) and the other 54 patients did not have this additive treatment to the suture line (control group).

Results

There were no significant between-group differences in the demographic characteristics of the patients undergoing Bentall procedures. Mean EuroSCORES (European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation) were 13.7 ± 7.7 (sealant group) and 14.4 ± 6.2 (control group), p = NS. The polyethylene glycol sealant group had reduced intraoperative and postoperative transfusion requirements (red blood cells: 761 ± 863 versus 1248 ± 1206 ml, p = 0.02; fresh frozen plasma: 413 ± 532 versus 779 ± 834 ml, p = 0.009); and less postoperative drainage loss (985 ± 972 versus 1709 ± 1302 ml, p = 0.002). A trend towards a lower rate of rethoracotomy was observed in the sealant group (1/48 versus 6/54, p = 0.07) and there was significantly less time spent in the intensive care unit or hospital (both p = 0.03). Based on hypothesis-generating calculations, the resulting economic benefit conferred by shorter intensive care unit and hospital stays, reduced transfusion requirements and a potentially lower rethoracotomy rate is estimated at €1,943 per patient in this data analysis.

Conclusions

The use of this polymeric surgical sealant demonstrated improved intraoperative and postoperative management of anastomotic bleeding in Bentall procedures, leading to reduced postoperative drainage loss, less transfusion requirements, and a trend towards a lower rate of rethoracotomy. Hypothesis-generating calculations indicate that the use of this sealant translates to cost savings. Further studies are warranted to investigate the clinical and economic benefits of CoSeal in a prospective manner.

Keywords:
Aortic repair; Blood loss; Transfusion; Economics; Surgical sealant