Effect of topical hyaluronic acid on experimental cholesteatoma

Steven J. White, Charles G. Wright, Karen S. Robinson, William L. Meyerhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: Inflammation and connective tissue hyperplasia are believed to be important etiological factors in cholesteatoma pathogenesis. Previous work has shown that topically applied hyaluronic acid can reduce connective tissue proliferation in healing wounds and accelerate healing of tympanic membrane perforations. This study was undertaken to determine whether the anti proliferative effect of hyaluronic acid may inhibit propylene glycol-induced cholesteatoma in an animal model. Materials and Methods: A 60% propylene glycol solution was injected bilaterally into the middle ear cavities of 20 adult chinchillas. The control group (N = 10) received propylene glycol alone. In addition to propylene glycol injections, the experimental group (N = 10) received repeated bilateral topical applications of 1.5% hyaluronic acid onto the tympanic membranes. Animals were killed at 4 weeks for gross and light microscopic examination. Results: Seven control and 10 experimental animals survived the full 1-month study period. At the end of that time, cholesteatoma was found in 71% (10/14) of control ears and 70% (14/20) of experimental ears. Tympanic membrane structure did not differ significantly between groups by light microscopy and, in all animals, cholesteatomas originated by migration of hyperplastic epidermis through the tympanic membrane, as has been observed in previous studies using this animal model. Conclusion: Under the conditions of this study, topical hyaluronic acid had no significant effect on cholesteatoma formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-318
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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