Effectiveness and short-term safety of modified sodium hyaluronic acid-carboxymethylcellulose at cesarean delivery: a randomized trial

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The rising cesarean birth rate has drawn attention to risks associated with repeat cesarean birth. Prevention of adhesions with adhesion barriers has been promoted as a way to decrease operative difficulty. However, robust data demonstrating effectiveness of such interventions are lacking.


We report data from a multicenter trial designed to evaluate the short-term safety and effectiveness of a modified sodium hyaluronic acid (HA)-carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) absorbable adhesion barrier for reduction of adhesions following cesarean delivery.


Patients who underwent primary or repeat cesarean delivery were included in this multicenter, single-blinded (patient), randomized controlled trial. Patients were randomized into either HA-CMC (N = 380) or no treatment (N = 373). No other modifications to their treatment were part of the protocol. Short-term safety data were collected following randomization. The location and density of adhesions (primary outcome) were assessed at their subsequent delivery using a validated tool, which can also be used to derive an adhesion score that ranges from 0-12.


No differences in baseline characteristics, postoperative course, or incidence of complications between the groups following randomization were noted. Eighty patients from the HA-CMC group and 92 controls returned for subsequent deliveries. Adhesions in any location were reported in 75.6% of the HA-CMC group and 75.9% of the controls (P = .99). There was no significant difference in the median adhesion score; 2 (range 0-10) for the HA-CMC group vs 2 (range 0-8) for the control group (P = .65). One third of the HA-CMC patients met the definition for severe adhesions (adhesion score >4) compared to 15.5% in the control group (P = .052). There were no significant differences in the time from incision to delivery (P = .56). Uterine dehiscence in the next pregnancy was reported in 2 patients in HA-CMC group vs 1 in the control group (P = .60).


Although we did not identify any short-term safety concerns, HA-CMC adhesion barrier applied at cesarean delivery did not reduce adhesion formation at the subsequent cesarean delivery.

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