Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of the novel reversible thermosensitive gel poloxamer 407 for occlusion of the coronary vessel necessary for minimally invasive operations and its effects on coronary endothelium.
Methods: Domestic swine were submitted to occlusion of the left anterior descending or right coronary artery using the poloxamer. The left and right internal thoracic arteries were used as grafts to perform coronary artery bypasses. Animals were humanely killed after 3 hours of perfusion (acute; n = 8) or 3 days (subacute; n = 6). The vascular reactivity of coronary artery was evaluated in response to serotonin and bradykinin. Histologic studies were performed to analyze cardiomyocyte necrosis and endothelial coverage.
Results: The gel led to an occlusion of 7.8 +/- 2.2 minutes. Concentration-response curves of occluded coronary segments showed no difference of endothelium-dependent relaxations in both operated groups (P < .05 vs control). Histologic studies demonstrated the absence of cardiomyocyte necrosis after coronary artery occlusion in the acute group; a small infarct zone was detected in 1 animal in the subacute group, resulting from an occlusion of the first diagonal branch. The endothelial layer coverage was preserved in both groups.
Conclusion: The poloxamer 407 represents a promising technique for obtaining hemostasis at the site of anastomosis during construction of bypasses during beating heart coronary artery surgery, without damage to the endothelium or ischemic consequence.