Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) has been shown to enhance speed of wound repair at a number of anatomic sites. This study presents an evaluation of bFGF in a model of acute tympanic membrane (TM) perforation in order to assess rate of healing as well as structural and functional outcome. Perforations were created in the tympanic membranes of rats, then allowed to heal in the presence of topically applied bFGF with the opposite ear serving as a control. The growth factor was applied in repeated doses beginning 2 days after creation of the TM defect. The treated ears healed faster by an average of 4.0 days. The healed tympanic membranes were assessed using tympanometry and light microscopy. Structurally and functionally, the healed tympanic membranes were similar to the controls. The observed results indicate that bFGF promotes accelerated healing and restoration of normal architecture in acute TM defects.
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