Ex vivo comparison of barbed and unbarbed sutures for the closure of caecal and pelvic flexure enterotomies in horses

Supplementary Files

Submitted article -Gandini


Barbed suture
Bursting pressure
Enterotomy closure
Gastrointestinal surgery
Pelvic flexure
Unbarbed suture

How to Cite

Giusto, G., Caramello, V., Comino, F., & Gandini, M. (2019). Ex vivo comparison of barbed and unbarbed sutures for the closure of caecal and pelvic flexure enterotomies in horses. Veterinaria Italiana, 55(3), 269–274. https://doi.org/10.12834/VetIt.691.3383.2


In this study the caecum and large colon were harvested from 24 slaughtered horses. On each sample, an 8‑cm long enterotomy was performed. Enterotomies were closed using either barbed or unbarbed glycomer‑631. We compared the time to close, appearance, length of suture material, bursting pressure, and costs associated with each type of material. Our findings demonstrated that time to close was significantly shorter (caecum, P = 0.034; pelvic flexure, P = 0.039) using barbed sutures (caecum 610.4 seconds; pelvic flexure 699.3 seconds) than unbarbed sutures (caecum 661.0 seconds, pelvic flexure 743.1 seconds). The length of suture material used was significantly less (caecum, P < 0.0001; pelvic flexure, P < 0.0001) with barbed (caecum 28.1 cm, pelvic flexure 32.0 cm,) compared with unbarbed sutures (caecum 41.6 cm; pelvic flexure 46.6 cm). There were no significant differences in bursting pressure (caecum, P = 0.294; pelvic flexure, P = 0.430) between barbed (caecum, 172.5 mmHg, pelvic flexure, 188.9 mmHg) and unbarbed sutures (caecum 178.3 mmHg, pelvic flexure 183.3 mmHg). The cost was higher using barbed sutures. However, the use of barbed sutures was faster, left less suture material in the tissue, and sustained comparable bursting pressure to unbarbed sutures. We therefore conclude that barbed sutures are a valid alternative to unbarbed sutures for closing large intestine enterotomy in horses.



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