Preventive Effect of Ethyl Pyruvate on Postoperative Adhesion Formation Following Abdominal Surgery

J Invest Surg. 2016 Oct;29(5):260-5. doi: 10.3109/08941939.2016.1149639. Epub 2016 Mar 24.


Objective: Postoperative adhesions are among the major causes of morbidity and mortality following abdominal surgery. As an antioxidant and antiinflamatory agent, the potential effect of ethyl pyruvate on adhesion prevention has not been clearly studied. We aimed to investigate the possible anti-adhesive effect of ethyl pyruvate compared with an effective barrier membrane, Seprafilm, in a rat cecal abrasion model.

Materials and methods: Male Wistar albino rats separated into three adhesion model groups (n = 8, each) with applications of different agents during surgery: control (intraperitoneal normal saline), Seprafilm group (intraperitoneal Seprafilm), and Ethyl pyruvate group (40 mg/kg intraperitoneal ethyl pyruvate). Postoperative adhesion was graded both macroscopically and histopathologically. Malondialdehyde and nitric oxide levels were determined from tissue samples for assessment of oxidative stress.

Results: Seprafilm and Ethyl pyruvate groups had lower adhesion scores (both macroscopic and microscopic) and decreased malondialdehyde and nitric oxide levels compared to the control group (p < 0.05 for all parameters). The results were comparable for both Seprafilm and Ethyl pyruvate groups for all parameters (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: Intraperitoneal ethyl pyruvate application reduced the incidence and the extent of postoperative adhesions in rat cecal abrasion model. Ethyl pyruvate also had comparable overall efficacy for adhesion prevention as Seprafilm.

Keywords: Ethyl pyruvate; Seprafilm; cecal abrasion; postoperative adhesion.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Cecum / injuries
  • Cecum / metabolism
  • Cecum / surgery
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Pyruvates / administration & dosage*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tissue Adhesions / etiology
  • Tissue Adhesions / pathology
  • Tissue Adhesions / prevention & control*


  • Antioxidants
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Pyruvates
  • Seprafilm
  • ethyl pyruvate
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Hyaluronic Acid