The roles of inflammatory response and closure technique in the development of bronchopleural fistula were evaluated. Canine bronchial stumps closed with 3-0 silk and studied 14 days later were characterized by a dense inflammatory infiltrate. Stumps closed with 3-0 chromic catgut suture showed a moderate inflammatory response with disintegration of suture material. However, stumps closed with the automatic stapling device (TA 30) showed the best healing and a minimal degree of inflammation. These findings correlated well with leakage pressures. The average leakage pressure for the silk closed stumps was 139.44 mm Hg ± 78.9 SD. This was significantly lower (P < 0.02) than the average leakage pressure for staple closed stumps (251.25 mm Hg ± 82.9 SD). It is concluded that the minimal amount of inflammation following staple closure will be associated with improved bronchial stump healing and a lower incidence of bronchopleural fistula.
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