Medical Practice

Starch Granulomatosis of the Peritoneum

Br Med J 1971; 3 doi: (Published 11 September 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;3:625
  1. Julian Neely,
  2. J. Douglas Davies


    Starch glove powder is used extensively by surgeons in Britain and is generally considered innocuous so that precautions to prevent granuloma formation, previously taken when talc glove powder was in use, are now neglected. Reported here are five cases of starch granulomatosis of the peritoneum occurring over a period of a few months. This condition requires reoperation within a limited time for its diagnosis and may be confused macroscopically with disseminated malignant disease or tuberculosis or may simply cause adhesions. Recognition is dependent on a high degree of suspicion by both surgeon and histopathologist, as special histological techniques may be necessary. Consequently, it is only in a minority of the florid cases that a diagnosis is made, and the condition would appear to be much more common than is generally realized. A plea is made for scrupulous care to avoid starch powder contamination of the operative field.