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.