The effect of heparin after microsurgical repair in traumatically damaged arteries.
A main consideration of microvascular surgery is the avoidance of thrombosis. This traditionally involves the avoidance of thrombogenic trauma, the establishment of normal blood flow and full vessel diameter, as well as the use of anticoagulants, such as heparin, as an antithrombotic measure. In the present study we assessed the effectiveness of heparin in maintaining patency in the femoral arteries of rats which have undergone a crush injury with damage to the intima and media layers of the wall. To accomplish this, the animals were treated with heparin 150 units or 300 units twice daily following microvascular repair using standard microsurgical techniques. Control animals received no treatment. The results of this study indicate that the number of patencies in experimentally-injured femoral arteries did not improve significantly following heparin treatment, although pharmacological doses of heparin (300 units twice daily) were associated with a somewhat lower rate of occlusions. We conclude that heparin appears unable to significantly prevent clotting in vessels which have experienced severe trauma to the intima and media layers.
Zoubos, AB; Soucacos, PN; Seaber, AV; Urbaniak, JR
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