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Which Sternotomy Closure Method (Orthopaedic Wire or Suture) Is Recommended in Large Breed Dogs Undergoing a Median Sternotomy?

Charlotte Howes, Guillaume Chanoit

Published:  14/05/2018    in:  Knowledge Summaries

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PICO question

Which sternotomy closure method (orthopaedic wire or suture) is recommended in large breed dogs undergoing a median sternotomy?

Clinical bottom line

The literature search revealed no clinical studies on large breed dogs comparing the clinical outcomes following either orthopaedic wire or suture sternotomy closure methods. Post-mortem studies on large breed dogs suggest that sutures are as suitable as orthopaedic wires for sternal closure with regards to their biomechanical properties. There is insufficient clinical evidence to make a recommendation that sutures be used in large breeds of dog.

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  1. Bright, R., McIntosh Bright, J., Richardson, D. et al (1983) Clinical and Radiographic Evaluation of a Median Sternotomy Technique in the dog. Journal of Veterinary Surgery. 12 (1) pp.13-19. DOI:
  2. Davis, K., Roe, S., Mathews, K. et al. (2006) Median Sternotomy Closure in Dogs: A mechanical Comparison of Technique Stability. Journal of Veterinary Surgery. 35 pp. 271-277. DOI:
  3. Gines, J., Friend, E., Vives, M. et al. (2011) Mechanical comparison of median sternotomy closure in dogs using polydioxanone and wire sutures. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 52 pp. 582-586. DOI:
  4. McCready, D., Bell, J., Ness, M. et al. (2015) Mechanical comparison of monofilament nylon leader and orthopaedic wire for median sternotomy closure. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 56 (8) pp. 510-515. DOI:
  5. Pelsue, D., Monnet, E., Gaynor, J. et al. (2002) Closure of Median Sternotomy in Dogs: Suture Versus Wire. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association. 38 pp. 569-576. DOI:

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Copyright (c) 2018 Charlotte Howes, Guillaume Chanoit

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