After complete transection of a nerve, good neuroanastomosis is needed to prevent the formation of fibrous connective tissues that form obstacles to nerve regeneration, and to facilitate repair of the injured nerve and reinnervation of its original targets. Peripheral nerve defects of more than 10 mm are commonly treated in clinics, and in these injuries a conduit is needed to bridge the gap, prevent the formation of obstacles to nerve regeneration, and guide axonal regrowth.
Autogenous vein grafts have been used extensively for the repair of nerve defects in rats. Motor reinnervation of skeletal muscle after repair of nerve defects using vein grafts has been confirmed both structurally and neurophysiologically. However, no previous studies have reported on sensory reinnervation of skeletal muscle after repair of nerve defects using vein grafts. Dr. Youwang Pang and colleagues from the 180 Hospital of Chinese PLA used immunohistochemical and electrophysiological examinations to evaluate reinnervation of muscle spindles in rat gastrocnemius muscles after excision of 10-mm segments of the tibial nerves and bridging with autologous vein grafts. These researchers found that there were no significant differences in the number, size, or electrophysiological function of reinnervated muscle spindles between the two experimental groups.
These findings, published in the Neural Regeneration Research, suggest that repair of short nerve defects with autologous vein grafts provides comparable results to immediate end-to-end anastomosis in terms of sensory reinnervation of muscle spindles.
" Sensory reinnervation of muscle spindles after repair of tibial nerve defects using autogenous vein grafts," by Youwang Pang, Qingnan Hong,
Jinan Zheng (Department of Orthopedics, the 180 Hospital of Chinese PLA, Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China)
Pang YW, Hong QN, Zheng JN. Sensory reinnervation of muscle spindles after repair of tibial nerve defects using autogenous vein grafts. Neural Regen Res. 2014;9(6):610-615.
Neural Regeneration Research