Objectives: To study the effects of mucosal injury, gastric juice, and corticosteroids and to determine the presence of peptide growth factors in the subglottic mucosa in a porcine model. Study Design: Prospective cohort animal study. Methods: In this model of subglottic injury, five groups (n = 5 each) of piglets were used. Injury was induced by electrocautery (acute), electrocautery plus repeated saline application (chronic), electrocautery plus repeated gastric juice application (chronic plus gastric juice), or repeated gastric juice application (gastric). Control piglets had normal saline applied repeatedly. Results: Histopathologic findings for the gastric juice group included basal cell hyperplasia (80%), squamous metaplasia (80%), and mucosal ulceration (40%). Control piglets showed squamous metaplasia (80%) but no basilar hyperplasia or ulceration. Immunohistochemistry detected peptide growth factors and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in all groups. Decreased staining was most frequent in the acute injury group. Quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) documented lower expression of EGFR in the gastric juice group (P = .01). Conclusions: These findings suggest that peptide growth factors and EGFR are part of normal subglottic mucosal turnover. Noxious stimuli decrease production of these factors. Gastric juice had adverse effects documented by histopathology and molecular techniques.
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