Purpose: This study was undertaken to evaluate the antiadhesive properties of a polymeric agent in infants undergoing staged surgical correction of congenital heart abnormalities.
Description: Sixteen infants having staged surgical repair were treated with a polymeric matrix at the completion of the initial surgery. There were 5 untreated controls. The tenacity and extent of adhesions at five separate regions of the heart were evaluated at the follow-up surgery.
Evaluation: For all sites combined, there was a threefold difference in median tenacity scores in favor of the experimental treatment (1.0 vs 3.0, p < 0.01). Significant differences were achieved separately at the right ventricle and the anterior surface of the great vessels (p = 0.02 for both comparisons). Analysis of adhesion scores reflecting the extent of adhesions similarly favored the experimental treatment for all sites (80 vs 270, p < 0.01), with significant differences persisting at the right atrium (p < 0.01) and the anterior surface of the great vessels (p = 0.04). There were no treatment-related adverse events.
Conclusions: Use of this polymeric agent at the completion of open cardiac surgery may prevent the occurrence or reduce the severity of pericardial adhesions.