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Background. Burn injury produces acute gastrointestinal derangements that may predispose to bacterial translocation (BT). We studied effects of recombinant human epidermal growth factor (r-HuEGF), a gastrointestinal trophic hormone, on gastrointestinal alterations and BT after murine burn injury.
Methods. r-HuEGF was administered 1 and 12 hours after burn injury in a dose of 4 μg per animal subcutaneously after 25% and 32% total body surface area (TBSA) scald burn. Small bowel and gastric weight and histologic factors were studied, and BT was measured by culturing mesenteric lymph nodes.
Results. Mice treated with r-HuEGF maintained gastric and small intestine weight, measured 24 hours after burn injury, and ileal mucosal height was preserved, whereas burned-untreated mice lost organ weight and mucosal height. BT was decreased significantly in mice with 32% TBSA burn injury treated with r-HuEGF after injury (burn, 64.2% of animals had BT; burn-r-HuEGF, 34.6% had BT; p < 0.05). After 25% TBSA burn injury, BT was also decreased in r-HuEGF-treated animals (burn, 31.4% of animals had BT; burn-r-HuEGF, 14.3% had BT), but the difference was not statistically significant (p < 0.1).
Conclusions. r-HuEGF improves intestinal and gastric structure in mice 24 hours after burn injury and decreases BT after 32% TBSA burn injury.
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Accepted: February 1, 1992
☆Supported in part by National Institutes of Health grant GM 08247.
© 1993 Published by Elsevier Inc.