Morphological and Histological Effects of Radiofrequency and Laser (KTP and Nd: YAG) Treatment of the Inferior Turbinates in Animals

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the short and medium-term effects of radiofrequency (RF) and potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) and neodymium-yttrium-aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) laser treatment on the inferior turbinate mucosa in a porcine model. Following randomization, the inferior turbinates were treated either with RF submucosally or with the KTP or the Nd:YAG laser on the surface under videoendoscopic control. Tissue samples were taken at the end of postoperative weeks 1 and 6, and were evaluated macroscopically and histopathologically. Scanning electron microscopy was implemented to demonstrate the morphological changes in the respiratory epithelium. Six weeks following the RF procedure, the mucosa was intact in all cases, and the volume of the inferior turbinates was reduced in the majority of the cases. Although a volume reduction occurred in both laser groups, more complications associated with the healing procedure were noted. With hematoxylin and eosin and periodic acid–Schiff staining, intact epithelium, and submucosal glands remained after the RF procedures at the end of postoperative week 6. Following the KTP-laser intervention, necrotizing sialometaplasia and cartilage destruction occurred, and squamous metaplasia was also apparent in the Nd:YAG group. In both laser groups, dilated glands with excess mucus were seen. The scanning electron microscopic findings demonstrated that cilia were present in all cases. In conclusion, the medium-term macroscopic results were similar in all 3 groups, but the postoperative complications were less following the RF procedure. RF procedure is minimally invasive due to the submucosal intervention that leads to a painless, function preserving recovery.

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