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Dig Dis Sci. 2001 Mar;46(3):606-9.

Salivary growth factors and cytokines are not deficient in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease or Barrett's esophagus.

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Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195, USA.


Growth factors, such as epidermal growth factor (EGF), are known to protect upper gut mucosa against irritants and to enhance healing of ulcerative lesions in animal models. A number of salivary growth factors are found in human saliva. The aim of this study was to determine if salivary growth factors and cytokines are deficient in patients with esophagitis or with Barrett's metaplasia. Fifteen healthy subjects, eight patients with esophagitis, and 13 patients with Barrett's metaplasia were included. Salivary concentration of EGF, FGF, IL-1, and IL-6 were measured during esophageal saline and hydrochloric acid perfusion and in the postprandial state. There was no statistically significant difference in the concentration of EGF or cytokines among the three study groups in each experimental condition or among the three experimental conditions in each group. FGF basic could not be detected in saliva. In conclusion, these findings do not support the hypothesis that a deficiency in salivary growth factors or cytokines plays a significant role in the development of mild to moderate reflux esophagitis or Barrett's metaplasia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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