A randomized, clinical trial comparing butylcyanoacrylate with octylcyanoacrylate in the management of selected pediatric facial lacerations

M H Osmond, J V Quinn, T Sutcliffe, M Jarmuske, T P Klassen
Academic Emergency Medicine 1999, 6 (3): 171-7

OBJECTIVE: To compare two tissue adhesives, butylcyanoacrylate and octylcyanoacrylate, in the treatment of small (<4 cm) superficial linear traumatic facial lacerations in children.

METHODS: This was a randomized, clinical trial with parallel design. 94 children <18 years of age seen in the ED of a tertiary care pediatric hospital with a facial laceration suitable for tissue adhesive closure underwent laceration closure using either butylcyanoacrylate or octylcyanoacrylate. The primary outcome was the cosmetic result at three months rated from photographs by a plastic surgeon on a visual analog scale (VAS). Secondary outcomes included the time to perform the procedure, the perceived difficulty of the procedure, the pain perceived by the patient, and a wound evaluation score at ten to 14 days and three months.

RESULTS: Ninety-four patients were randomized with 47 in each group. The two groups were similar for baseline demographic and clinical characteristics. There was no difference in the three-month cosmesis VAS (median, 70.0 mm for n-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate vs 67.5 mm for octylcyanocrylate, p = 0.84). There was no difference between the groups for time to complete the procedure (p = 0.88), parent/patient-perceived pain of the procedure (p = 0.37), or physician-perceived difficulty of the procedure (p = 0.33). Similarly, there was no difference between the groups for the percentage of early (p = 0.58) or late (p = 0.71) optimal wound evaluation scores.

CONCLUSIONS: In the closure of small linear pediatric facial lacerations, octylcyanoacrylate is similar to butylcyanoacrylate in ease of use and early and late cosmetic outcomes. The superior physical properties of octylcyanoacrylate appear to add little benefit to the management of these selected lacerations. Physician preference and differing costs may dictate use for these small selected lacerations.

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