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    Postoperative formation of adhesions increases risk of complications during cardiac reoperations. We previously demonstrated that swine supplemented with vodka had a significant reduction in adhesions at sternotomy after previous thoracotomy. This follow-up study was conducted to determine reproducibility and the mechanism for adhesion reduction in swine supplemented with ethanol. An ameroid constrictor was placed in the left circumflex in 14 male Yorkshire swine to induce chronic myocardial ischemia through left minithoracotomy. Animals were supplemented postoperatively with ethanol (45 g ETOH, n = 7) or sucrose (80 g SUC, n = 7) for 7 weeks, followed by a reoperative median sternotomy. The ETOH group had significantly fewer adhesions, thinner pericardial thickness, decreased intramyocardial fibrosis, and decreased myocardial collagen deposition compared with the SUC group. In the myocardium, ETOH animals had decreased expression of proadhesion proteins focal adhesion kinase, paxillin, integrin-β1, transforming growth factor-β1 and phosphorylated SMAD and increased expression of adhesion breakdown proteins matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 1, MMP2, MMP3, and MMP9 compared with SUC animals. However in the pericardium, ETOH animals had increased expression of proadhesion proteins focal adhesion kinase, paxillin, phosphorylated paxillin, vinculin, integrin-β1, tumor necrosis factor-α, transforming growth factor-β, and phosphorylated SMAD3, and decreased expression of adhesion breakdown proteins MMP1, MMP3, MMP9, and plasmin compared with SUC animals. Alcohol supplementation substantially reduced postoperative pericardial adhesion formation, attenuated pericardial thickening, and reduced myocardial fibrosis in response to chronic ischemia. Alcohol supplementation modulates adhesion protein and MMP/tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase expression, favoring a profile associated with reduced pericardial adhesions. These results suggest that the myocardium is the driving factor in reducing pericardial adhesions and mediating the postoperative healing process. Copyright © 2017 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Nassrene Y Elmadhun, Ashraf A Sabe, Antonio D Lassaletta, Rahul S Dalal, Frank W Sellke. Effects of Alcohol on Postoperative Adhesion Formation in Ischemic Myocardium and Pericardium. The Annals of thoracic surgery. 2017 Aug;104(2):545-552

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    PMID: 28262301

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