Objective: In this study, we aimed to document the effects of a well-known agent — “insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I)” — on the microvascular anastomosis site.
Methods: Sixteen Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this study. The rats were classified randomly into two equally numbered groups (eight rats each): the control (Group 1) and the experiment group (Group 2). The femoral artery was dissected completely in all rats. Following division of the artery, anastomoses were conducted with microvascular techniques. Forty-five minutes after the anastomoses, an Acland milking test was performed in order to check the patency and the first surgical session was terminated. In the second stage, LONG® R3 IGF-I human (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, Missouri, United States) solution was introduced to Group 2 (experimental group) intraperitoneally in doses of 2 mg/kg on the day of the surgery in addition to the third and seventh days postoperatively. On the 4th postoperative week, the patency of the anastomoses was evaluated with the Acland milking test. In addition, one centimeter of a vascular segment including the anastomosis site was excised and stained with hematoxylin-eosin. They were evaluated for edema, inflammation, vascular wall injury, intimal hyperplasia, medial atrophy, thrombus, calcification, foreign body reactions, and the endothelial proliferation.
Results: The Acland milking test showed a 100% vascular patency in both groups. A statistically significant difference was found between the experimental and control groups in terms of edema and vascular wall injury (p0.05).
Conclusion: Under the light of the obtained data, IGF-I was effective in preventing the edema and vascular wall injury at the anastomosis site. However, the net positive clinical effect on anastomosis patency necessitates further studies.
Anastomosis, IGF-I, microsurgery