Objective: This pilot study evaluates the anastomotic healing of the Excimer Laser Assisted Nonocclusive Anastomosis coronary connector at 6 months in a porcine off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) model.
Methods: Left internal thoracic artery to left anterior descending coronary artery bypass in two animals and left internal thoracic artery to left anterior descending coronary artery and right internal thoracic artery to right coronary artery bypasses in one animal were evaluated intraoperatively and at 6 months. The anastomoses (n = 4) were examined by angiography, intravascular ultrasound, optical coherence tomography, scanning electron microscopy, and histology.
Results: At follow-up, all anastomoses (n = 4) were fully patent (FitzGibbon grade A). Scanning electron microscopy demonstrated complete endothelial coverage of the anastomotic surface, and histology showed minimal streamlining intimal hyperplasia. The in vivo intravascular ultrasound and optical coherence tomography acquisitions confirmed histologic findings. Optical coherence tomography demonstrated 0.06-mm intimal coverage of the intraluminal part of the connector along the full circumference of the anastomosis.
Conclusions: In this pilot study, the Excimer Laser Assisted Nonocclusive Anastomosis coronary connector showed an excellent healing response on the long-term in the porcine OPCAB model. Hence, this new concept might be a potential alternative to hand-sutured anastomosis in (minimally invasive) OPCAB surgery.