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April 1974

Carotid Artery and Dermal Graft

Arch Otolaryngol. 1974;99(4):242-246. doi:10.1001/archotol.1974.00780030252002

In an attempt to explain the occurrence of early carotid blowouts in patients who had undergone head and neck surgical operations that included a dermal graft, we designed an experiment to study the histologic union between the carotid artery and dermal graft in rats.

A lack of collagenous union between the arterial wall and dermal graft was noted for approximately three or four weeks. This finding seriously questions the role of the dermal graft during this period. Rather, the carotid adventitia appears to be the most important deterrent to rupture. It possesses the physical strength and vasculature necessary for healing without rupture. The preservation of the adventitia, when not infiltrated with tumor, is the most important deterrent to rupture.