Postoperative intraperitoneal adhesion formation is a major cause of intestinal obstruction, pain and infertility. This experimental study was designed to evaluate the degree of adhesion formation and peritoneal tissue levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), reduced glutathione (GSH) and total nitrite and nitrate (NO) and the effect of aminoguanidine (AG) on these metabolite values after postoperative intraperitoneal adhesion formation in rats. A total of 21 adult male Wistar albino rats were randomly divided into three groups. Control rats were untreated; the AG group received AG 200 mg kg(-1) i.p. for 10 consecutive days intraperitoneally after surgery. The sham group was given 0.9% NaCl. The rats were killed on postoperative day 10. The peritoneal tissues were harvested to determine the tissue levels of MDA, GSH, and NO activity. For light microscopic evaluation, the cecurn was removed. Adhesion formation scores in the AG group were significantly lower than those of the control and sham groups (p < 0.017, p < 0.026 respectively). In the AG-treated rats, tissue levels of MDA and NO were significantly lower than in the control group (p < 0.017). The levels of GSH in aminoguanidine-treated rats were significantly higher than those of the control group (p < 0.01). The severity of the inflammation was more prominent in the control group compared with the AG-injected rats. The results demonstrate that in this experimental model, intraperitoneal administration of aminoguanidine decreases the incidence and extent of peritoneal adhesions and causes a decrease in MDA and NO and an increase in GSH values. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.