Sustained local application of low-dose epidermal growth factor on steroid-inhibited colonic wound healing

J Pediatr Surg. 2004 Apr;39(4):591-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2003.12.017.


Background/purpose: The effects of locally administered low-dose epidermal growth factor in a steroid-inhibited wound healing were investigated in a rat model.

Methods: Long-acting release of epidermal growth factor was enabled using microspheres embedded in gelatin sponge. Study groups consisted of 60 rats with 10 in each: colonic anastomosis only (C), plus pure gelatin sponge (CG), plus epidermal growth factor loaded sponge (CE), colonic anastomosis and steroid (S), plus gelatine sponge (SG), and plus epidermal growth factor-loaded gelatine sponge (SE) groups. Bursting pressure and wound hydroxy-proline content were measured. Bursting sites were recorded. Collagen deposits, inflammation, and foreign body reactions were evaluated.

Results: Bursting pressure and hydroxy-proline contents were found lowest in the S and highest in the CE groups (P <.01). There was almost no difference between C and SE groups. Bursts were encountered in peri-anastomotic normal colon sites in the nonsteroid-treated C, CG, and CE groups. They were noted overwhelmingly at the anastomosis in steroid-inhibited S, SG, and SE groups. Histopathology results showed a standstill at the inflammatory phase of healing in S and SG groups. The best healing was observed in the CE group. Degree of collagen accumulation was well correlated with bursting pressure and hydroxy-proline content data with a negligible foreign body reaction to gelatine sponge.

Conclusions: Continuous local epidermal growth factor administration by microspheres in gelatin increases wound collagen and further enhances healing in colonic anastomoses even with steroid inhibition.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Animals
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / etiology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / pathology
  • Collagen / analysis
  • Colon / surgery*
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Dexamethasone / toxicity*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Drug Implants
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / administration & dosage
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / etiology
  • Gelatin
  • Hydroxyproline / analysis
  • Microspheres
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / pathology
  • Pressure
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Surgical Sponges
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence / prevention & control*
  • Suture Techniques
  • Tensile Strength
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Drug Implants
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Dexamethasone
  • Gelatin
  • Collagen
  • Hydroxyproline