Objective: To evaluate the effect of clopidogrel on the rate of thrombosis in a rat model for venous microvascular failure. Study Design and Setting: Forty rats were treated with clopidogrel or saline control via gastric gavage in a randomized, blinded fashion. After allowing for absorption and activation, each femoral vein was isolated and a venous "tuck" procedure was performed. The bleeding time and vessel patency were subsequently evaluated. Results: The rate of vessel thrombosis was decreased in the clopidogrel-treated group compared to controls (7.9% vs 31.4%, P < 0.025). The bleeding time was longer in the clopidogrel-treated group compared to controls (250 ± 100 seconds vs 173 ± 59 seconds, P < 0.015). Conclusion: Clopidogrel decreased the rate of thrombosis in the rat model for venous microvascular failure. Significance: The use of clopidogrel may reduce the rate of venous thrombosis after free tissue transfer and may be indicated in select patients.
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