Incisional hernia formation is a common complication to laparotomy and possibly associated with alterations in connective tissue metabolism. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are closely involved in the metabolism of the extracellular matrix. Our aim was to study serum levels of multiple MMPs and TIMPs in patients with and without incisional hernia. Out of 305 patients who underwent laparotomy, 79 (25.9%) developed incisional hernia over a median follow-up period of 3.7 years. Pooled sera from a subset (n = 72) of these patients were screened for MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-8, MMP-9, MMP-10, MMP-12, MMP-13, TIMP-1, TIMP-2, and TIMP-4 using a multiplex sandwich fluorescent immunoassay supplemented with gelatin zymography. The screening indicated differences in serum MMP-9 and TIMP-1 levels. Consequently, MMP-9 and TIMP-1 levels were measured in serum in the whole patient cohort with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. There were no significant differences in either MMP-9 (p = 0.411) or TIMP-1 (p = 0.679) levels between hernia and hernia-free patients. MMP-9 was significantly increased in smokers compared with nonsmokers (p = 0.016). In conclusion, a possible involvement of MMPs and TIMPs in the pathogenesis of incisional hernia formation was not reflected systemically.
Wound Repair and Regeneration, 2013, Vol 21, Issue 5, p. 661-666