Determination of efficacy of novel modified chitosan sponge dressing in a lethal arterial injury model in swine

Gerard P. De Castro, Matthew B. Dowling, Michael Kilbourne, Kaspar Keledjian, Ian R. Driscoll, Srinivasa R. Raghavan, John R. Hess, Thomas M. Scalea, Grant V. Bochicchio

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43 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Chitosan is a functional biopolymer that has been widely used as a hemostat. Recently, its efficacy has been questioned due to clinical failures as a result of poor adhesiveness. The purpose of this study was to compare, in a severe groin injury model in swine, the hemostatic properties of an unmodified standard chitosan sponge with standard gauze dressing and a novel hydrophobically modified (hm) chitosan sponge. Previous studies have demonstrated that hm-chitosan provides greatly enhanced cellular adhesion and hemostatic effect via noncovalent insertion of hydrophobic pendant groups into cell membranes. METHODS: Twenty-four Yorkshire swine were randomized to receive hm-chitosan (n = 8), unmodified chitosan (n = 8), or standard Accu-Sorb gauze dressing (n = 8) for hemostatic control. A complex groin injury involving arterial puncture (4.4-mm punch) of the femoral artery was made after splenectomy. After 30 seconds of uncontrolled hemorrhage, the randomized dressing was applied and compression was held for 3 minutes. Fluid resuscitation was initiated to achieve and maintain the baseline mean arterial pressure and the wound was inspected for bleeding. Failure of hemostasis was defined as pooling of blood outside the wound. Animals were then monitored for 180 minutes and surviving animals were killed. RESULTS: Blood loss before treatment was similar between groups (p < 0.1). Compared with the hm-chitosan sponge group, which had no failures, the unmodified chitosan sponge group and the standard gauze group each had eight failures over the 180-minute observation period. For the unmodified chitosan sponge failures, six of which provided initial hemostasis, secondary rebleeding was observed 44 minutes ± 28 minutes after application. Standard gauze provided no initial hemostasis after the 3-minute compression interval. CONCLUSIONS: Hm-chitosan is superior to unmodified chitosan sponges (p < 0.001) or standard gauze for controlling bleeding from a lethal arterial injury. The hm-chitosan technology may provide an advantage over native chitosan-based dressings for control of active hemorrhage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-907
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Hemostasis
  • Hemostatic dressing
  • Hm-chitosan
  • Modified chitosan dressing
  • Trauma


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