Can Hyaluronidase Be an Alternative Postoperative Anti-edema Agent to Dexamethasone? Preliminary Results of an Animal Study

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2018 Aug;76(8):1653-1659. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2018.03.010. Epub 2018 Mar 21.


Purpose: Recombinant human hyaluronidase (rHuPH20) is widely used as a spreading factor, which enhances the absorption of subcutaneously injected medicines. The anti-inflammatory and anti-edema effects of the enzyme were demonstrated in previous studies. In the present study, the anti-edema effect of rHuPH20 was compared with that of dexamethasone in a traumatic rat paw edema model.

Materials and methods: Twenty-four Sprague-Dawley rats (weight 200 to 450 g) were divided into 3 groups: control (group 1), rHuPH20 (group 2), and dexamethasone (group 3). Traumatic edema was induced in the right hind paws of the rats using Feeney's weight-drop model. After edema induction, 0.4 mL of rHuPH20 (100 U/kg = 0.88 μg/kg dose) and 0.4 mL of dexamethasone (0.5 mg/kg dose) were injected into the right hind paws of the rats in groups 2 and 3. The paw volumes were measured before edema induction and at 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, and 72 hours after induction using a plethysmometer. The Mann-Whitney U test was used for the statistical analyses. Probabilities < .05 were accepted as statistically significant.

Results: The between percentage change in the edema mean values of groups 1 and 3 showed no significant difference at all time points; however, group 2 showed significantly less change in the edema mean values at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 hours after edema induction (P < .05) compared with group 1. The change in the edema mean value for group 2 was significantly less than that for group 3 at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 hours after edema induction (P < .05).

Conclusions: Local rHuPH20 injection more effectively reduced the edema that was induced traumatically in rat paws than did dexamethasone. However, further clinical studies are needed regarding the use of rHuPH20 as a postoperative anti-edema agent in place of dexamethasone.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dexamethasone* / pharmacology
  • Edema* / prevention & control
  • Hindlimb / injuries
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase* / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications* / prevention & control
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Dexamethasone
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase