Carotid artery end-to-end anastomosis in the rat using the argon laser

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✓ Microvascular end-to-end anastomoses of rat common carotid arteries measuring 0.6 to 0.7 mm in diameter were performed using an argon surgical laser system. Vascular bonding with the argon laser was accomplished in all cases. The anastomosed carotid artery segments were evaluated both angiographically and histologically at 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month after laser bonding. With increasing time after anastomosis, there was a trend toward increasing angiographically proven stenosis of the anastomotic segment and histologically demonstrated pseudoaneurysm formation of the vessel wall at the bonded site. Pseudoaneurysm formation was associated with a dense inflammatory response in the anastomotic vessel segment. In spite of excellent initial tissue bonding and vessel patency, the delayed results of progressive vessel wall disruption and segmental stenosis indicate that further experience in using the argon laser for vessel welding is needed before this method can be accepted as an alternative to current microvascular suture technique.

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Address reprint requests to: Stephen K. Powers, M.D., Division of Neurosurgery, 148 Burnett Womack Building 229H, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514.
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