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Feasibility and acute healing of vocal fold microflap incisions in a rabbit model

Authors

  • Atsushi Suehiro MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University , Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Nashville, Tennessee
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  • Jonathan M. Bock MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Medical College of Wisconsin , Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
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  • Joseph E. Hall MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University , Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Nashville, Tennessee
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  • C. Gaelyn Garrett MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University , Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Nashville, Tennessee
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  • Bernard Rousseau PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University , Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Nashville, Tennessee
    • PhD, Department of Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University, Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, 1313 21st Avenue South, Room 602, Nashville, TN 37232-4480
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  • Research supported by NIH grants R03 DC 008400 and R01 DC 011338 from the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders. The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of performing mucosal elevation of a vocal fold microflap in a rabbit model and to measure the acute healing of rabbit microflap incisions compared to control vocal folds.

Study Design:

Prospective animal study.

Methods:

Ten New Zealand white rabbits were used in this study. All rabbits received a 3-mm incision through the epithelium of one vocal fold using a sickle knife and mucosal elevation through this incision using a microlaryngeal fine-angled spatula. The contralateral vocal fold was left intact to serve as an internal control. Student t tests were used to investigate differences in epithelial thickness, immunohistochemical staining of CD45, and inflammatory and profibrotic gene expression between vocal folds undergoing microflap and control.

Results:

Exposure of the rabbit larynx was achieved, allowing for the identification of a surgical plane and the creation of a microflap and elevation of the vocal fold mucosa. Hematoxylin-and-eosin staining revealed no significant differences in epithelial thickness, immunohistochemistry for CD45 showed no significant differences in CD45-positive cells, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed no significant differences in interleukin-1β, transforming growth factor β-1, or cyclooxygenase-2 gene expression between vocal folds undergoing microflap and control.

Conclusions:

We demonstrate the feasibility of vocal fold microflap surgery in a rabbit model. With the advantage of greater access to primers and antibodies for molecular biologic studies, the application of the microflap technique in a small-animal model such as rabbit has broad implications for future experimental investigations in laryngology.

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