The effects of pentoxifylline (PTX) and interferon alpha (IFN-alpha) in the prevention of strictures due to corrosive esophagitis in rats were investigated. Forty rats were randomly divided into four equal groups. Corrosive esophagitis was induced in all groups by application of 37.5% NaOH to the distal esophagus for a period of 90 s followed by saline rinse. Histopathologic damage was significantly lower in the PTX and IFN-alpha -treated groups than in the untreated group. During the study period, PTX and INF-alpha -treated animals showed a significant increase in body weight when compared to controls. However, PTX provided more significant prevention of stricture formation than IFN-alpha. In the PTX-treated group, the wall thickness and quantity of hydroxyprolin were significantly lower than in the untreated and IFN-alpha -treated groups. Stenosis index in the PTX group was significantly reduced compared to the control group. PTX prevents the stricture formation due to corrosive esophagitis in this experimental model. IFN-alpha was also shown to prevent stricture formation when considering amelioration of histopathologic damage and increase in body weight. Copyright (C) 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel.