The effect on the middle-ear cavity of an absorbable gelatine sponge alone and with corticosteroids

Bahadir O., AYDIN S., CAYLAN R.

EUROPEAN ARCHIVES OF OTO-RHINO-LARYNGOLOGY, vol.260, no.1, pp.19-23, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The objectives of this study were to establish whether there is an obvious difference between intact mucosa and abraded mucosa of the middle-ear cavity in respect to the potential side effects from the application of absorbable gelatine sponge (Gelfoam) and to investigate if Gelfoam combined with corticosteroid ointment (cortimycine, sterile 1% hydrocortisone acetate) can reduce the occurrence of these effects. Twenty Albino rats were used in the study. These animals were divided into four groups, with ten ears in each group. In group A, the middle-ear mucosa was kept intact, and Gelfoam was inserted into the middle-ear cavity. In group B, the middle-ear mucosa was abraded, and Gelfoam was inserted. In group C, Gelfoam with corticosteroid was implanted over the intact mucosa, and in group D, the mucosa was abraded prior to the insertion of Gelfoam with corticosteroid. The changes were evaluated 8 weeks postoperatively. In group A, there was a minimal increase in fibroblastic activity, vascular proliferation with mild to moderate fibrosis and all but two tympanic membranes were perfectly normal. However, in group B, we encountered a significant increase in fibroblastic activity, vascular proliferation and fibrosis, and we observed that all tympanic membranes were moderately to severely thickened. These histopathologic changes related to Gelfoam were noted to be decreased in group C and especially in group D. As previously reported in the literature, Gelfoam was found to promote the formation of connective tissue in the middle-ear cavity regardless of the status of the mucosa. The unwanted effects of this material may be decreased if it is combined with corticosteroids in the middle-ear cavity.