Impact of Vascularization Type on Peripheral Nerve Microstructure
15 December 2008 (online)
Experimental and clinical studies have demonstrated that vascularized nerve grafts are superior to nonvascularized nerve grafts with respect to healing. By means of the inherent vascularity in vascularized nerve grafts, Schwann cells remain viable, and endoneurial necrosis and fibrosis are not seen. In this study the effects of three different vascularization patterns on the vascular microstructure of a nerve segment in the rat based on the femoral artery and vein was investigated. Sixty adult male Wistar Albino rats were divided into five groups. In each group, a 1.5-cm segment of femoral nerve was transected at two sides, without disturbing the unity of the contents of the femoral sheath. The experimental design consisted of prefabricated venous nerve segment, venous nerve segment, arterial nerve segment, no blood flow, and controls groups. To assess the microstructure of the nerve segment, myelin and Schwann cell morphology and fibrosis were examined. There were many Schwann cells with near normal morphology in the venous nerve segment and arterial nerve segment groups. In conclusion, the venous nerve segment model in which Schwann cell viability was high due to the presence of sufficient and uninterrupted blood supply to the nerve graft, resulting in successful nerve healing, showed superior results over others.
Femoral nerve microstructure - peripheral nerve reconstruction - venous nerve graft
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Ibrahim Vargel, M.D. , Ph.D.
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