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October 1955

Effect of Hydrocortisone in the Prevention of Intraperitoneal Adhesions

AMA Arch Surg. 1955;71(4):523-530. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1955.01270160049006

The effect of cortisone and corticotropin (ACTH) on healing tissues have been studied both clinically and experimentally.* In short-term experiments, diminution in formation of granulation tissue and fibrin, inhibition of fibroblast proliferation and leucocyte invasion, reduction in metachromasia, and irregular formation of intracellular matrix are among the observed effects on the connective tissue of skin and bone.† Longer-term experiments have yielded less clear-cut results and suggest that the above sequelae occur only in the early stages of tissue reaction to injury‡ Nevertheless, the above observations with cortisone and corticotropin have prompted others to study the effects of cortisone and corticotropin on experimentally produced intraperitoneal adhesions.

Thomas, Greene, and Rhoads5 produced adhesions in rabbits by crushing the cecum with a Doyen clamp. A dose of 12.5 mg. of cortisone was given intramuscularly twice daily for three days before the bowel was crushed and for three days thereafter. In their series,