Transplantation of epidermal cell sheets by endoscopic balloon dilatation to avoid esophageal re-strictures: initial experience in a porcine model

Endosc Int Open. 2016 Nov;4(11):E1116-E1123. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-116145. Epub 2016 Oct 28.


Background and study aims: Epidermal cell sheet (ECS) transplantation immediately after aggressive endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) has been shown to be safe and effective in the prevention of esophageal strictures. This study evaluated the feasibility of ECS transplantation after endoscopic balloon dilation (EBD) in a porcine model. Methods: Six pigs underwent circumferential esophageal ESD under general anesthesia. Two weeks later, two pigs underwent EBD and transplantation of an autologous ECS, two underwent EBD alone, and two underwent endoscopic observation only (control). Results: The two pigs in the transplantation group underwent six ECS transplants after EBD with five of the six (83 %) being successful, as shown by engraftment of transplanted ECSs after 7 days. No adverse events were observed. Stricture rates were lower in the two transplanted pigs (55 % and 60 %) than in the control (92.2 % and 87.7 %) and EBD-treated (71.7 % and 78.2 %) pigs. Infiltration of inflammatory cells was significantly lower in the transplanted pigs than in the control and EBD-treated pigs. Conclusion: Preliminary results indicate the stability of the ECS transplantation procedure and the engraftment of transplanted ECS in the tears after EBD. This proof-of-concept study suggests that covering tears with ECSs after EBD may avoid re-strictures.