The influence of enzymes on adhesive processes in the abdominal cavity

Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2009 Dec;19(6):380-3. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1241847.


Introduction: Intraperitoneal adhesions remain a common problem after abdominal surgery. However, the advent of targeted, specific agents as a directed therapy against inflammatory and neoangiogenesis raises the prospect of a new approach for anti-adhesion strategies.

Methods: 70 adult rats were divided into two groups: an enzyme group (35 rats) and a control group (35 rats). Following laparotomy the visceral peritoneum of the cecum and inner layer the abdominal cavity were abraded. In the enzyme group the preparation Wobenzym (a combination of animal and vegetable proteases plus rutoside) dissolved in 2 ml of sterile 0.9% NaCl was administered to the rats through a gastric probe over a period of 21 days. The control animals received the same quantity of saline without the preparation. On the 1st, 3rd, 7th and 21st postoperative days 8 animals from each group were sacrificed. VEGF, bFGF and laminin were detected in the visceral and parietal peritoneum by immunohistochemistry.

Results: The mean adhesion grades of the enzyme group were significantly lower than in the control group. A comparison of the two groups showed that the expression of VEGF, bFGF and laminin in the enzyme group was lower than in the control group. Moreover, in the enzyme group the concentration of bFGF and laminin peaked on the 7th day, while in the control group the maximum concentrations peaked on day 21.

Conclusions: Our study found that oral poly-enzyme therapy following laparotomy and abrasion of the visceral and parietal peritoneum reduces the extent of postoperative intestinal adhesions. This favorable effect can be explained by the lower levels of angiogenic agents (VEGF, bFGF) and laminin after the administration of hydrolytic enzymes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Cavity / surgery*
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Combinations
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / analysis
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / biosynthesis
  • Hydrolases / administration & dosage*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Laminin / analysis
  • Laminin / biosynthesis
  • Laparotomy / adverse effects*
  • Peritoneum / surgery
  • Rats
  • Rutin / administration & dosage*
  • Tissue Adhesions / etiology
  • Tissue Adhesions / metabolism
  • Tissue Adhesions / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / analysis
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / biosynthesis
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Biomarkers
  • Drug Combinations
  • Laminin
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Rutin
  • Wobenzym
  • Hydrolases