Background: Postoperative adhesion formation is a common consequence of abdominal surgery, and constitutes a major source of morbidity and mortality. This study evaluated an ultrapure alginate-based antiadhesive barrier gel.
Methods: Experiments were performed in a rat model with caecal abrasion and peritoneal side wall excision. The primary endpoint was the incidence of adhesions at 14 days after surgery. In experiment 1 (24 rats), animals treated with alginate gel were compared with controls that had no antiadhesive barrier. In experiment 2 (42 rats), alginate gel was compared with sodium hyaluronate carboxymethyl cellulose (HA/CMC) membrane and with no antiadhesive barrier. To check for any remote action of the gel, in experiment 3 (45 rats) application of alginate gel to the ipsilateral versus contralateral side of injury was compared with no antiadhesive barrier.
Results: In experiment 1, ultrapure alginate gel reduced the incidence of adhesions from eight of 12 in control animals to one in 12 (P = 0·009). Tissue healing assessed by histology was similar in both groups. In experiment 2, ultrapure alginate gel and HA/CMC membrane showed similar antiadhesive effectiveness, reducing the incidence of adhesions from ten of 14 rats in the control group to three of 14 (P = 0·021) and two of 14 (P = 0·006) respectively. In experiment 3, ultrapure alginate gel reduced the incidence of adhesions at the site of direct application (1 of 15) compared with controls (13 of 15; P = 0·001), but not if applied remotely (9 of 15; P = 0·214).
Conclusion: Ultrapure alginate gel decreased the incidence of postoperative adhesion formation in this rat model.
© 2013 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.