Reconstruction of a 10-mm-long median nerve gap in an ischemic environment using autologous conduits with different patterns of blood supply: A comparative study in the rat

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate in the Wistar rat the efficacy of various autologous nerve conduits with various forms of blood supply in reconstructing a 10-mm-long gap in the median nerve (MN) under conditions of local ischemia. A 10-mm-long median nerve defect was created in the right arm. A loose silicone tube was placed around the nerve gap zone, in order to simulate a local ischemic environment. Rats were divided in the following experimental groups (each with 20 rats): the nerve Graft (NG) group, in which the excised MN segment was reattached; the conventional nerve flap (CNF) and the arterialized neurovenous flap (ANVF) groups in which the gap was bridged with homonymous median nerve flaps; the prefabricated nerve flap (PNF) group in which the gap was reconstructed with a fabricated flap created by leaving an arteriovenous fistula in contact with the sciatic nerve for 5 weeks; and the two control groups, Sham and Excision groups. In the latter group, the proximal stump of the MN nerve was ligated and no repair was performed. The rats were followed for 100 days. During this time, they did physiotherapy. Functional, electroneuromyographic and histological studies were performed. The CNF and ANVF groups presented better results than the NG group in the following assessments: grasping test, nociception, motor stimulation threshold, muscle weight, and histomorphometric evaluation. Radial deviation of the operated forepaw was more common in rats that presented worse results in the other outcome variables. Overall, CNFs and ANVFs produced a faster and more complete recovery than NGs in the reconstruction of a 10-mm-long median nerve gap in an ischemic environment in the Wistar rat. Although, results obtained with CNFs were in most cases were better than ANVFs, these differences were not statistically significant for most of the outcome variables.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0195692
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

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