Tissue adhesive versus suture wound repair at 1 year: randomized clinical trial correlating early, 3-month, and 1-year cosmetic outcome

Ann Emerg Med. 1998 Dec;32(6):645-9. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(98)70061-7.


Study objective: To compare the 1-year cosmetic outcome of wounds treated with octylcyanoacrylate tissue adhesive and monofilament sutures and to correlate the early, 3-month, and 1-year cosmetic outcomes.

Methods: We prospectively randomized 136 cases of traumatic laceration to repair with octylcyanoacrylate tissue adhesive or 5-0 or smaller monofilament suture. A wound score was assigned by a research nurse, and validated by a second nurse blinded to the treatment, at 5 to 10 days after injury (early), 3 months, and 1 year. Standardized photographs were taken at 3 months and 1 year and shown to a cosmetic surgeon blinded to the method of closure, who rated the wounds on a validated cosmesis scale.

Results: We were able to examine 77 lacerations at 1 year for follow-up. No differences were found in the demographic or clinical characteristics between groups. Likewise, at 1 year no difference was found in the optimal wound scores (73% versus 68%, P =.60) or in visual analog scale cosmesis scores (69 versus 69 mm, P =.95) for octylcyanoacrylate and sutures, respectively. Agreement was poor between early and 3-month wound scores (kappa=.34; 95% confidence interval [CI],.10 to.58) but a strong association existed between 3-month and 1-year wound scores (kappa=.71; 95% CI,.52 to.90). We noted a moderate correlation between 3-month and 1-year results on the visual analog cosmesis scale (intraclass correlation,.48; 95% CI, .30 to.63).

Conclusion: One year after wound repair, no difference is noted in the cosmetic outcomes of traumatic lacerations treated with octylcyanoacrylate tissue adhesive and sutures. The assessment of wounds 3 months after injury and wound repair provides a good measure of long-term cosmetic outcome.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beauty
  • Cyanoacrylates / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Suture Techniques / standards*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / therapy*


  • Cyanoacrylates