Published online Dec 14, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i46.5049
Revised: July 14, 2011
Accepted: July 21, 2011
Published online: December 14, 2011
Adhesions are the most frequent complication of abdominopelvic surgery, yet the extent of the problem, and its serious consequences, has not been adequately recognized. Adhesions evolved as a life-saving mechanism to limit the spread of intraperitoneal inflammatory conditions. Three different pathophysiological mechanisms can independently trigger adhesion formation. Mesothelial cell injury and loss during operations, tissue hypoxia and inflammation each promotes adhesion formation separately, and potentiate the effect of each other. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that interruption of a single pathway does not completely prevent adhesion formation. This review summarizes the pathogenesis of adhesion formation and the results of single gene therapy interventions. It explores the promising role of combinatorial gene therapy and vector modifications for the prevention of adhesion formation in order to stimulate new ideas and encourage rapid advancements in this field.