SUMMARY - Phytochemical constituents of medicinal plants demonstrate inhibition of tissue and bacterial hyaluronidase. Echinacoside is a caffeoyl conjugate of Echinacea with known anti-hyaluronidase properties. The purpose of this study was to investigate the wound healing effects of Echinacea on vocal fold wound healing and functional voice outcomes. Pig animal model.
METHODS - Vocal fold injury was induced in 18 pigs by unilateral vocal fold stripping. The uninjured vocal fold served as control. Three groups of six pigs randomly received a topical application of 300, 600, or 1,200 mg of standardized Echinacea on the injured side. Animals were euthanized after 3, 10, and 15 days of wound healing. Phonation threshold pressure and vocal economy measurements were obtained from excised larynges. Treatment outcomes were examined by comparing the animals receiving treatment with a set of 19 untreated and 5 historical controls. Treatment effects on wound healing were evaluated by histologic staining for hyaluronan and collagen. Treated larynges revealed improved vocal economy and phonation threshold pressure compared with untreated larynges. Histologically, treated vocal folds revealed stable hyaluronan content and no significant accumulation of collagen compared with control. Findings provide a favorable outcome of anti-hyaluronidase treatment on acute vocal fold wound healing and functional measures of voice.