Article: article from journal or magazin.
Muscle recovery after repair of short and long peripheral nerve gaps using fibrin conduits.
Publication types: Journal Article ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov'tPublication Status: ppublish
Peripheral nerve injuries with loss of nervous tissue are a significant clinical problem and are currently treated using autologous nerve transplants. To avoid the need for donor nerve, which results in additional morbidity such as loss of sensation and scarring, alternative bridging methods have been sought. Recently we showed that an artificial nerve conduit moulded from fibrin glue is biocompatible to nerve regeneration. In this present study, we have used the fibrin conduit or a nerve graft to bridge either a 10 mm or 20 mm sciatic nerve gap and analyzed the muscle recovery in adult rats after 16 weeks. The gastrocnemius muscle weights of the operated side were similar for both gap sizes when treated with nerve graft. In contrast, muscle weight was 48.32 ± 4.96% of the contra-lateral side for the 10 mm gap repaired with fibrin conduit but only 25.20 ± 2.50% for the 20 mm gap repaired with fibrin conduit. The morphology of the muscles in the nerve graft groups showed an intact, ordered structure, with the muscle fibers grouped in fascicles whereas the 20 mm nerve gap fibrin group had a more chaotic appearance. The mean area and diameter of fast type fibers in the 20 mm gap repaired with fibrin conduits were significantly (P<0.01) worse than those of the corresponding 10 mm gap group. In contrast, both gap sizes treated with nerve graft showed similar fiber size. Furthermore, the 10 mm gaps repaired with either nerve graft or fibrin conduit showed similar muscle fiber size. These results indicate that the fibrin conduit can effectively treat short nerve gaps but further modification such as the inclusion of regenerative cells may be required to attain the outcomes of nerve graft for long gaps.
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