Open Access Research article

Different healing process of esophageal large mucosal defects by endoscopic mucosal dissection between with and without steroid injection in an animal model

Kouichi Nonaka1, Mitsuo Miyazawa2, Shinichi Ban3, Masayasu Aikawa2, Naoe Akimoto2, Isamu Koyama2 and Hiroto Kita1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Gastroenterology, Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, 1397-1 Yamane, Hidaka, 350-1298, Japan

2 Department of Surgery, Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, Hidaka, 350-1298, Japan

3 Department of Pathology, Saiseikai Kawaguchi General Hospital, Kawaguchi, 332-8558, Japan

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BMC Gastroenterology 2013, 13:72  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-13-72

Published: 25 April 2013



Stricture formation is one of the major complications after endoscopic removal of large superficial squamous cell neoplasms of the esophagus, and local steroid injections have been adopted to prevent it. However, fundamental pathological alterations related to them have not been well analyzed so far. The aim of this study was to analyze the time course of the healing process of esophageal large mucosal defects resulting in stricture formation and its modification by local steroid injection, using an animal model.


Esophageal circumferential mucosal defects were created by endoscopic mucosal dissection (ESD) for four pigs. One pig was sacrificed five minutes after the ESD, and other two pigs were followed-up on endoscopy and sacrificed at the time of one week and three weeks after the ESD, respectively. The remaining one pig was followed-up on endoscopy with five times of local steroid injection and sacrificed at the time of eight weeks after the ESD. The esophageal tissues of all pigs were subjected to pathological analyses.


For the pigs without steroid injection, the esophageal stricture was completed around three weeks after the ESD on both endoscopy and esophagography. Histopathological examination of the esophageal tissues revealed that spindle-shaped α-smooth muscle actin (SMA)-positive myofibroblasts arranged in a parallel fashion and extending horizontally were identified at the ulcer bed one week after the ESD, and increased contributing to formation of the stenotic luminal ridge covered with the regenerated epithelium three weeks after the ESD. The proper muscle layer of the stricture site was thinned with some myocytes which seemingly showed transition to the myofibroblast layer. By contrast, for the pig with steroid injection, esophageal stricture formation was not evident with limited appearance of the spindle-shaped myofibroblasts, instead, appearance of stellate or polygocal SMA-positive stromal cells arranged haphazardly in the persistent granulation tissue of the ulcer site.


Proliferation of spindle-shaped myofibroblasts arranged in a parallel fashion is likely to play an important role in stricture formation after circumferential mucosal defects by esophageal ESD, which may be related to the thinning of the proper muscle layer in the healing course of the defects. Local steroid injection seems to be effective to prevent the stricture through the modification of this process.

Esophagus; Stricture; ESD; Steroid; Myofibroblast