Effects of surgical gloves on postoperative peritoneal adhesions and cytokine expression in a rat model

Am J Surg. 2004 Nov;188(5):491-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2004.07.019.


Background: Postoperative intraperitoneal adhesions are a major cause of morbidity. We studied the effects of synthetic and latex gloves, and their powders, on postoperative adhesions and cytokine expression in a rat model.

Methods: Rats underwent laparotomy and cecal abrasion. Rats were grouped based on the glove type used: synthetic powder-free (SPF), synthetic powdered (SP), latex powder-free (LPF), and latex powdered (LP). Serum cytokine (tumor necrosis factor [TNF], interleukin-1 [IL-1], and IL-6) levels were measured. Animals were killed and peritoneal adhesions were graded.

Results: The SPF group had no adhesions. Adhesions were increased similarly in the SP and LPF groups, and further increased in the LP group. Postoperative serum cytokine levels showed a similar pattern of increases.

Conclusions: The presence of latex or powder on surgical gloves promoted increased adhesions. Serum cytokine levels correlated with the degree of adhesion formation. Strategies to use latex-free, powder-free gloves and/or limit cytokine expression may decrease peritoneal adhesions in the clinical setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gloves, Surgical / adverse effects*
  • Inflammation Mediators / analysis
  • Laparotomy / methods
  • Male
  • Peritoneal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Peritoneal Diseases / etiology*
  • Probability
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology*
  • Tissue Adhesions / epidemiology
  • Tissue Adhesions / etiology


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators