Effects of tissue plasminogen activator in experimentally induced peritonitis.
Early administration of fibrinolytics after surgical treatment of peritonitis in the rat reduces abscess formation. The current study investigates the effect of various treatment protocols using intraperitoneal recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA). Peritonitis was induced in rats and surgical debridement was performed after 1 hour. Animals were treated with rtPA at different time points. Abdominal fluid samples were taken at 24, 72, and 120 hours for cytokine measurements and cell counts. After 5 days the abdomen was inspected for abscesses. Early administration of rtPA significantly reduced the number of rats with abscesses and the abscess load per rat. Delayed treatment significantly reduced abscess load but not the incidence of abscesses. No meaningful differences in the local inflammatory response were found. rtPA was most effective when applied early and continued for 72 hours, although mortality increased after prolonged treatment. rtPA consistently reduces intra-abdominal abscess formation, and a clinical study seems warranted.