Effect of a Composite Membrane of Chitosan and Poloxamer Gel on Postoperative Adhesive Interactions

Vlahos, Angie; Yu, Pingyang; Lucas, Charles E.; Ledgerwood, Anna M.
January 2001
American Surgeon;Jan2001, Vol. 67 Issue 1, p15
Academic Journal
Excessive postoperative adhesion formation is a major result of surgery. The adhesion reduction effects of a chitosan membrane and poloxamer gel barrier were measured in a rat peritoneal model. Forty-four male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups (control, poloxamer, chitosan, and poloxamer+chitosan sandwich). Two cm[sup 2] of cecal serosa and the adjacent abdominal wall were abraded. The denuded cecum was covered with either a chitosan membrane, a poloxamer gel, chitosan in a sandwich configuration with poloxamer on both sides, or neither (control group) and apposed to the abdominal wall. Fourteen days after surgery adhesions were graded using a whole-number scoring system of zero to five. Adhesion strength was determined using a whole-number system of one to four. Adhesion area was measured on a continuous scale of adhesion severity. Adhesion grades were highest in the control group (5.00:4 +/- 0.00) and were significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the poloxamer group (3.50 +/- 1.35), the chitosan group (1.64 +/- 1.63), and the poloxamer+chitosan group (1.18 +/- 1.25). The two chitosan-containing groups also had significantly (P < 0.05) reduced adhesion grades in comparison with the poloxamer group. Adhesion area in both chitosan-containing groups was reduced in comparison with control and adhesion strength was reduced significantly (P < 0.05) in all groups compared with control. The poloxamer+chitosan group had significantly (P < 0.05) reduced adhesion strength versus poloxamer only. There was a significant (P < 0.05) linear correlation (r = 0.931, P < 0.001) between adhesion grade and adhesion strength. We conclude that chitosan and the combination of poloxamer+chitosan were shown to effectively reduce adhesion area, grade, and strength.


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