Objective—To evaluate histologic reactions to 8 suture materials and cyanoacrylate tissue adhesive (CTA) in the musculature and skin of ball pythons.
Animals—30 hatchling ball pythons.
Procedures—In each snake, ten 1-cm skin incisions were made (day 0). At 8 sites, a suture of 1 of 8 materials was placed in the epaxial musculature, and the incision was closed with the same material. One incision was closed by use of CTA. No suture material was placed in the tenth incision, which was allowed to heal by second intention (negative control). Snakes (n = 5/group) were euthanized for harvest of treatment-site tissues at days 3, 7, 14, 30, 60, and 90. Skin and muscle sections were examined microscopically and assigned a subjective score (0 to 4) for each of the following: overall severity of inflammation, fibrosis, number of macrophages, number of granulocytes, number of perivascular lymphocytes, and degree of suture fragmentation.
Results—Subjective score analysis revealed that CTA did not cause a significant inflammatory response, compared with the negative control. All suture materials caused significantly more inflammation over all time points; for all suture materials, inflammatory response scores were significantly higher than values for the negative control 90 days after implantation. No sutures were completely absorbed by the end of the study period, and several sutures appeared to be in the process of extrusion.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In snakes, CTA can be used to close small superficial incisions or lacerations with minimal inflammatory response, and sutures may undergo extrusion from tissues prior to complete absorption.