BACKGROUND: BioGlue surgical adhesive (CryoLife, Inc, Kennesaw, GA) is currently being used to secure hemostasis at cardiovascular anastomoses in adults. Interference with vessel growth would preclude its use during congenital heart surgery. The purpose of this study was to determine if BioGlue reinforcement of aortic anastomoses impairs vessel growth and causes strictures. METHODS: Ten 4-week-old piglets (8.0 +/- 1.4 kg) underwent primary aorto-aortic anastomoses. Five piglets were randomly assigned to anastomotic reinforcement with BioGlue. After a 7-week growth period, the aortas were excised for morphometric analysis and histopathology. RESULTS: Weight gains were similar in both groups. In BioGlue animals, however, aortic circumference increased only 1.5 +/- 0.8 mm (versus 2.7 +/- 0.8 mm in controls; p = 0.054). BioGlue animals developed a 33.9% stenosis of the aortic lumen area (versus 3.7% in controls, p = 0.038). Adventitial changes reflecting tissue injury and fibrosis were present in all BioGlue animals versus none of the control animals (p = 0.008). CONCLUSIONS: BioGlue reinforcement impairs vascular growth and causes stricture when applied circumferentially around an aorto-aortic anastomosis. This adhesive should not be used on cardiovascular anastomoses in pediatric patients.