Randomised trial of histoacryl blue tissue adhesive glue versus suturing in the repair of paediatric lacerations

J Paediatr Child Health. 1998 Dec;34(6):548-50. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.1998.00300.x.


Objective: To compare histoacryl blue tissue adhesive glue with suturing in the repair of simple paediatric lacerations.

Methodology: Prospective, randomised controlled trial in tertiary paediatric emergency department. Children 4 years old or older with non-ragged lacerations <5 cm in length, <12-h-old and not involving eyelid or mucous membrane. A total of 163 patients were randomly allocated to either glue (83 cases) or sutures (80 controls) to repair their laceration. Primary outcome measures were cosmetic outcome at 3 and 12 months with secondary outcomes-length of time to perform procedure, and pain assessment of procedure by doctor, nurse, parent and child.

Results: Cases and controls were similar in age, wound length and width and body part involved, but more females received glue (P = 0.013). Time taken to repair the wound was faster in the glue group (median 0-2 mins vs. 6-10 min suture, P<0.001). Doctors (P = 0.02), nurses (P<0.01) and parents (P = 0.02) but not the children themselves (P = 0.24) rated glue repair as less distressing. Complications at 1 week (wound dehiscence, redness and discharge) were the same for both groups (P>0.2). Cosmetic outcome was the same for both groups at 3 (n = 65) and 12 (n = 65) months (P>0.7).

Conclusion: Tissue adhesive glue is faster and probably less painful than suturing. Tissue adhesive glue has the same cosmetic result as suturing when used for the repair of simple lacerations in children.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Enbucrilate / analogs & derivatives*
  • Enbucrilate / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sutures*
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Adhesives / therapeutic use*
  • Wound Healing*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / therapy*


  • Tissue Adhesives
  • Enbucrilate