Author(s): Chiu DT, Janecka I, Krizek TJ, Wolff M, Lovelace RE
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Abstract This study was performed to determine whether vein grafts might serve as a conduit for nerve regeneration. A 1 cm segment of sciatic nerve was removed bilaterally in 12 Sprague-Dawley rats. On one side the gap was not repaired, and on the other side a segment of femoral vein was used to bridge the nerve gap. Nerve conduction studies and necropsies were performed at intervals. Reconstitution of nerve trunk continuity and healing of plantar ulcers occurred only in the vein-grafted side. Histologic examination revealed orderly growth of nerve fibers within the lumen of the vein grafts as early as 1 month after repair. Most regenerating nerve fibers passed through the proximal junction in an orderly pattern and reached the distal stumps within 2 months after repair. Results of nerve conduction study at 4 months after operation demonstrated restoration of conduction through the vein-grafted sciatic nerves with muscle reinnervation. Nearly normal muscle fibers in the gastrocnemius on the repaired side were confirmed at necropsy. This study demonstrated that autogenous vein grafts can serve as a conduit for nerve regeneration in rodents.
This article was published in Surgery
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation