Author(s): Wu S, Suzuki Y, Tanihara M, Ohnishi K, Endo K,
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Abstract A bioabsorbable material, alginate, was used to repair a defect in the facial nerve. In five cats a 5-mm gap was created in the dorsal ramus of the facial nerve on one side selected at random, which was repaired by implantation of alginate sponge without suturing. In the control group, two cats had a similar nerve injury but without implantation of alginate. Behavioural, electrophysiological, and histological examinations were made over a period of 16 weeks postoperatively. Movement of the upper eyelids and electrophysiological function were restored 12 weeks postoperatively, and many myelinated axons were observed both in the gap of facial nerve and its branches 16 weeks after operation, whereas no alginate residue was detected remaining within gap. In the control group, no movement or electrophysiological restoration was recorded, and there were few regenerated axons accompanied by a large amount of scar tissue. The nerve repaired with alginate showed remarkable regeneration. These results suggest that alginate is a promising material for facial nerve repair, and sutureless repair with alginate is a possible option for treating defects in the facial nerve.
This article was published in Scand J Plast Reconstr Surg Hand Surg
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation