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June 14, 1976

Glove-Starch Granulomatous Disease

Author Affiliations

University of Louisville School of Medicine Louisville

JAMA. 1976;235(24):2583-2584. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260500011004

To the Editor.—  A multitude of recent reports on glove-starch granulomata1,2 underscore the gravity of this persisting but uncommon surgical problem. Despite the great number of surgical procedures performed each year, the occurrence of starch granulomatous disease is fortunately rare. However, an exploratory laparotomy may be the only recourse to distinguish this surgeon-induced disease from postoperative inflammatory or infectious complications.Surgeons recognize the occurrence and pathogenesis of glove-starch granulomata, and this information is sufficiently widely disseminated. Presently, many surgeons do attempt to remove starch granules from gloves by washing them in water or wiping them with wet towels. Such maneuvers may be futile in preventing this surgical hazard, as glove— starch disease is known to occur when the gloves have been washed before the peritoneal cavity is entered.3 As long ago as 1947, it was demonstrated that gloves washed as thoroughly as possible under a single washing with