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.