Misdiagnosis of cancer due to multiple glove powder granulomas

Eur J Surg Suppl. 1997;(579):11-4.


A biologically absorbable powder, the cornstarch lubricant used in the production of gloves, is treated with epichlorohydrin, a cross-linking agent forming one to three diether glycerine groups to create a glove lubricating powder. This agent, together with chemicals used in glove fabrication is able to interfere with important biological diagnostic procedures, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme immunoassay as well as to induce a granulomatous reaction in traumatised surgical tissue.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Cross-Linking Reagents / adverse effects
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Epichlorohydrin / adverse effects
  • False Negative Reactions
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Gloves, Surgical* / adverse effects
  • Glycerol / adverse effects
  • Granuloma, Foreign-Body / diagnosis*
  • Granuloma, Foreign-Body / etiology
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lubrication
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Powders / adverse effects
  • Starch / adverse effects*


  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Powders
  • Epichlorohydrin
  • Starch
  • Glycerol