Adhesion formation is a common complication in abdominal surgery with incidence as high as 93% and small bowel obstruction a common complication. Because the extracellular matrix material, small intestinal submucosa (SIS), is commonly used in various surgical procedures, methods to inhibit adhesiogenesis are of great interest. This study was undertaken to determine if incorporation of nimesulide (NM), a selective cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitor, could reduce the extent and tenacity of intraabdominal adhesion formation associated with SIS implantation. Female Sprague-Dawley rats underwent a cecal abrasion surgical procedure to induce adhesiogenesis. Rats were either left untreated or treated by direct application over the injured cecum with polypropylene mesh (PPM); SIS; SIS containing a low dose of NM; or SIS containing a high dose of NM. Rats were euthanized 21 days later, and adhesion extent and tenacity were evaluated using standard scales (0 = minimal adhesiogenesis; 4 = severe adhesiogenesis). Addition of NM to SIS resulted in a significant (p < 0.05) reduction in adhesion extent and in a similar reduction in adhesion tenacity for SIS containing a low dose of NM. Adhesions typically extended from the abraded cecal surface to the body wall and were characterized histologically by fibrous tissue adherent to the cecal wall. In conclusion, addition of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, COX-2 selective drug, NM, to SIS attenuates adhesion extent and tenacity when compared with surgical placement of SIS or PPM alone.
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