OBJECTIVE To compare suture placement time, tension at skin separation and suture line failure, and mode of failure among 4 suture patterns.
DESIGN Randomized trial.
SAMPLE 60 skin specimens from the pelvic limbs of 30 purpose-bred Beagles.
PROCEDURES Skin specimens were harvested within 2 hours after euthanasia and tested within 6 hours after harvest. An 8-cm incision was made in each specimen and sutured with 1 of 4 randomly assigned suture patterns (simple interrupted, cruciate, intradermal, or subdermal). Suture placement time and percentage of skin apposition were evaluated. Specimens were mounted in a calibrated material testing machine and distracted until suture line failure. Tensile strength at skin-edge separation and suture-line failure and mode of failure were compared among the 4 patterns.
RESULTS Mean suture placement time for the cruciate pattern was significantly less than that for other patterns. Percentage of skin apposition did not differ among the 4 patterns. Mean tensile strength at skin-edge separation and suture-line failure for the simple interrupted and cruciate patterns were significantly higher than those for the intradermal and subdermal patterns. Mean tensile strength at skin-edge separation and suture-line failure did not differ significantly between the intradermal and subdermal patterns or the simple interrupted and cruciate patterns. The primary mode of failure for the simple interrupted pattern was suture breakage, whereas that for the cruciate, intradermal, and subdermal patterns was tissue failure.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested external skin sutures may be preferred for closure of incisions under tension to reduce risk of dehiscence.