Introduction: Ozone has been proposed as an antioxidant enzyme activator, immunomodulator and cellular metabolic activator. This study was designed to investigate the efficacy of ozone therapy in the prevention of esophageal damage and stricture formation developed after esophageal caustic injuries in the rat.
Materials and methods: Forty-five rats were allocated into three groups; sham-operated, un-treatment and treatment groups. Caustic esophageal burn was created by instilling 15% NaOH in the distal esophagus. The rats were left untreated or treated with 1 mg/kg/day ozone intraperitoneally. All rats were sacrificed at 28 days. Efficacy of the treatment was assessed by measuring the stenosis index (SI) and histopathologic damage score, and biochemically by determining tissue hydroxyproline content (HP), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl content (PCC) in esophageal homogenates.
Results: Whereas seven (47%) rats died in the un-treatment group, all rats in the sham-operated and the treatment group survived during the study. SI, the histopathologic damage score, was significantly lower in the ozone-therapy group than the un-treatment group. HP levels were significantly higher in the un-treatment group than the group treated with ozone. Caustic esophageal burn increased MDA and PCC levels and also decreased SOD and GPx enzyme activities. In contrast, ozone therapy decreased the elevated MDA and PCC levels and also increased the reduced SOD and GPx enzyme activities.
Conclusion: Ozone has a preventive effect in the development of fibrosis by decreasing tissue damage and increasing the antioxidant enzyme activity in an experimental model of corrosive esophageal injury.