BU Today

In the World

MED Research May Make Abdominal Surgery Safer

Karen Reed, MED assistant prof., won best poster presentation at the Peritoneal Access Society meeting.

Karen Reed, a research assistant professor of surgery at the School of Medicine, recently took home an award for the best poster presentation at the Peritoneal Access Society meeting in Leuven, Belgium. Her poster showed how statins prevent postoperative abdominal adhesions, which can cause a range of complications, including bowel obstruction and female infertility.

Adhesions, the fibrous bands that form in the abdomen after surgery, affect at least 90 percent of patients undergoing such surgery. Reed, along with research partners Cary Aarons, a Boston Medical Center surgical resident, and Arthur Stucchi, a MED research associate professor, have found that placing statin in the abdominal cavity during surgery decreases postoperative adhesion formation by 50 percent.

The research of Reed and her partners focuses on understanding the early molecular events of peritoneal trauma that lead to adhesion formation after surgery. In addition to her work with statins, Reed also studies how postoperative inflammation and Substance P, a pro-inflammatory peptide, affect adhesion formation.

“I think [our poster] was well organized as far as the hypothesis, aims of the experiment, and the way the data was presented in terms of how this research could be directly utilized,” says Reed. “The link between our research and the benefit to the medical community was clear.”

Brittany Jasnoff can be reached at bjasnoff@bu.edu.