Postoperative peritoneal adhesion formation following abdominal surgery remains a relevant surgical problem. The application of soluble physico-chemical barriers like 4% icodextrin is one approach to protect the peritoneal surface from getting linked to adhesive scar. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of 4% icodextrin on peritoneal tissue response both of visceral and parietal peritoneum, adhesion formation and wound healing.
40 rats were divided into two groups. After creation of an intraabdominal defect, either 4% icodextrin (Adept®) or sodium chloride was applied. Animals were sacrificed after 7 and 21 days. Adhesions were scored by an adhesion score. Furthermore, immunohistochemical investigations were conducted to determine the discrete influence of icodextrin on the parietal and visceral peritoneal tissue responses (CD68+ macrophages, CD3+ T-lymphocytes, vimentin for mesenchymal cells, HBME-1 for mesothelial cells, and as components of wound healing COX-2, C-myc, catenin).
Postoperative peritoneal adhesions were predominantly present in the sodium chloride group as compared to the icodextrin group (14/19 (74%) vs. 9/19 (47%); p = 0.048). The adhesion score however did not reveal any significant differences, (p = 0.614). Furthermore, the expression of vimentin in both the parietal and visceral peritoneum after 21 days was significantly lower in the icodextrin group than in the sodium chloride group (p = 0.038 and p = 0.028, respectively). No significant differences were observed for macrophages, lymphocytes, reperitonealisation or the expression of COX-2, C-myc or Catenin.
The intraperitoneal application of 4% icodextrin reduces adhesion formation in comparison to sodium chloride. 4% icodextrin solution reduces the inflammatory and mesenchymal infiltrate in the wounded area, thus improving the ratio of mesothel cells to mesenchymal infiltrate. As demonstrated, icodextrin is able to ameliorate the local tissue response. Further experimental studies would be done to elaborate the impact on the early response of the adaptive immune system, which may then trigger the subsequent wound healing and tissue repair.