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To compare the strength of the sutured linea alba, in vitro, using 2 suture patterns.


12 clinically normal llamas.


2 incisions in the linea alba of 12 llamas were closed with a simple continuous or inverted cruciate pattern, and tissue was harvested after 10 days. In 6 llamas, the simple continuous line was intact; the inverted cruciate specimens contained 6 sutures. In 6 llamas, 1 knot was excised in the simple continuous pattern to simulate a failed line; the cruciate pattern contained 5 knots. Tissue sections were taken from cranial, between, and caudal to the linea alba incisions to compare fascial thickness. The sutured specimens were mounted in a mechanical testing system and tested to failure. A mixed-model ANOVA was used to evaluate the effects of suture pattern and incisional position on mechanical properties.


Significant differences were not found between suture patterns or between location for yield force, failure force, or yield strain, whereas failure strain was lower for the intact simple continuous pattern than the inverted cruciate pattern (P = 0.003). From histomorphometric analysis, the caudal tissue specimens were significantly thinner than the middle tissue specimen cranial to the umbilicus (P = 0.006).


There was no significant difference in monotonic breaking strength of the linea alba sutured with the simple continuous or inverted cruciate pattern.

Clinical Relevance

These results justify the use of the simple continuous pattern over the cruciate pattern for ventral midline closure in llamas because of the ease of placement and speed. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:938–942)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research