Assessment of Ablative Fractional CO2 Laser and Er:YAG Laser to Treat Hypertrophic Scars in a Red Duroc Pig Model

Luis Rodriguez-Menocal, Stephen C Davis, Sandra Becerra, Marcela Salgado, Joel Gill, Jose Valdes, Ambar Candanedo, Shanmugasundaram Natesan, Michael Solis, Wellington Guzman, Alex Higa, Carl I Schulman, Robert J. Christy, Jill Waibel, Evangelos V Badiavas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Hypertrophic scarring is a fibroproliferative process that occurs following a third-degree dermal burn injury, producing significant morbidity due to persistent pain, itching, cosmetic disfigurement, and loss of function due to contractures. Ablative fractional lasers have emerged clinically as a fundamental or standard therapeutic modality for hypertrophic burn scars. Yet the examination of their histopathological and biochemical mechanisms of tissue remodeling and comparison among different laser types has been lacking. In addition, deficiency of a relevant animal model limits our ability to gain a better understanding of hypertrophic scar pathophysiology. To evaluate the effect of ablative fractional lasers on hypertrophic third-degree burn scars, we have developed an in vivo Red Duroc porcine model. Third-degree burn wounds were created on the backs of animals, and burn scars were allowed to develop for 70 days before treatment. Scars received treatment with either CO2 or erbium: yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) ablative fractional lasers. Here, we describe the effect of both lasers on hypertrophic third-degree burn scars in Red Duroc pigs. In this report, we found that Er:YAG has improved outcomes versus fractional CO2. Molecular changes noted in the areas of dermal remodeling indicated that matrix metalloproteinase 2, matrix metalloproteinase 9, and Decorin may play a role in this dermal remodeling and account for the enhanced effect of the Er:YAG laser. We have demonstrated that ablative fractional laser treatment of burn scars can lead to favorable clinical, histological, and molecular changes. This study provides support that hypertrophic third-degree burn scars can be modified by fractional laser treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)954-962
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of burn care & research : official publication of the American Burn Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 23 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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