Histopathological and postoperative behavioral comparison of rodent oral tongue resection: Fiber-enabled CO2 laser versus electrocautery

Courtney B. Shires, Jennifer M. Saputra, Lauren King, Jerome W. Thompson, Detlef H. Heck, Merry E. Sebelik, John D. Boughter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective. To compare operative time and hemostasis of fiber-enabled CO2 laser (FECL) energy to that of the electrocautery (EC) technique for oral tongue resection, to compare return to oral intake and preoperative weight after FECL and EC resection, and to compare histologic changes in adjacent tissue after FECL and EC resection. Study Design. Prospective animal study. Setting. Research laboratory. Subjects and Methods. The CO2 laser fiber and the Bovie cautery were each used to resect the anterior tongue in 15 adult rats. Fixative perfusion and killing were performed on postoperative day 0 (n = 10), 3 (n = 10), or 7 (n = 10). Body weight, food intake, and water intake were recorded daily for 3- and 7-day survival rats. After preparation for histologic analysis, the tongue tissue was graded with a mucosal wound-healing scale (MWHS). Results. A higher incidence of intraoperative bleeding and shorter operative times were noted in the EC group. No statistically significant difference in postoperative food or water intake between the EC and FECL groups was noted. The FECL group returned to baseline weight by postoperative day 6. MWHS scores were lower in the EC group by postoperative day 3 and lower in the FECL group by postoperative day 7. Conclusions. Both EC and FECL are effective for resection of the tongue in rats. EC has the advantage of shorter operative time and lower MWHS scores by postoperative day 3; FECL has the advantages of less intraoperative bleeding, faster return to baseline body weight, and lower MWHS score by postoperative day 7.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)716-721
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project received a restricted educational grant from OmniGuide, Inc Company. Representatives were involved with calibrating the CO 2 laser and quality assurance but had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis, interpretation, manuscript preparation, or decision to submit for publication. The first author of this study had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.


  • CO2 laser
  • electrocautery
  • histology
  • mucosal injury
  • oral cavity
  • oral intake
  • tongue
  • weight loss


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