An experimental model of saphenous vein-to-coronary artery anastomosis with the St. Jude Medical stainless steel connector

Hartzell V Schaff, Kenton J. Zehr, Luis F. Bonilla, Lucas H. Brennecke, Todd Berg, Rick Cornelius, Paul Hindrichs, William Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Background. A new stainless steel anastomosis device developed by St. Jude Medical Cardiovascular Group was studied in a canine model. Methods. In 12 dogs, coronary saphenous vein grafts were made to the left anterior descending coronary artery and to the circumflex coronary artery; one anastomosis was completed with the St. Jude Medical stainless steel connector device, and the other with conventional suturing. A 30-day coronary angiogram was performed in surviving animals, and, after sacrifice, anastomoses were measured, examined grossly, and submitted for histologic study. Results. All 12 animals survived the procedure, and 9 survived to sacrifice at 30 days. Comparing the connector grafts and sutured grafts, no significant differences were found between vessel diameters, intraoperative graft flows, graft patency, and histology. The average loading time for the connector was 8.5 minutes (range 4 to 16 minutes). Mean time for the 12 connector anastomoses was 3 minutes (range 2 to 5 minutes) compared with 8.4 minutes for suture (range 4 to 13 minutes). Conclusions. The side-to-side stainless steel connector anastomotic device produces a secure anastomosis with minimal variability; compared with suture methods, it is expeditious and has comparable 30-day histology and angiographic results. It promises to be an important addition to the surgical armamentarium for the treatment of coronary artery disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)830-836
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery

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