, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 393-401

Recombinant human epidermal growth factor prevents sclerotherapy-induced esophageal ulcer and stricture formations in pigs

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Human epidermal growth factor (EGF), a naturally occurring protein, has been implicated in the protection of gastrointestinal mucosal integrity. The efficacy of EGF in the prevention of sclerotherapy-induced esophageal lesions was investigated in 18 minipigs with surgically induced portal hypertension. The animals underwent five weekly sessions of sclerotherapy with polidocanol 2% and were concomitantly treated with either placebo or EGF administered either paravenously or subcutaneously. EGF significantly (P<0.05) reduced esophageal ulcerations, stricture formations, and mucosal histological damage associated with sclerotherapy. The drug was well-tolerated with no overt toxicity. These results suggest a potentially important clinical value of EGF as an adjunctive treatment with the sclerotherapy.

This study was partially funded by Gastrone Corporation, Menlo Park, California.