End-to-side nerve repair in the upper extremity of rat.
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System
Förlag: Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
The end-to-side nerve-repair technique, i.e., when the distal end of an injured nerve is attached end-to-side to an intact nerve trunk in an attempt to attract nerve fibers by collateral sprouting, has been used clinically. The technique has, however, been questioned. The aim of the present study was to investigate end-to-side repair in the upper extremity of rats with emphasis on functional recovery, source, type, and extent of regenerating fibers. End-to-side repair was used in the upper limb, and the radial or both median/ulnar nerves were attached end-to-side to the musculocutaneous nerve. Pawprints and tetanic muscle force were used to evaluate functional recovery during a 6-month recovery period, and double retrograde labeling was used to detect the source of the regenerated nerve fibers. The pawprints showed that, in end-to-side repair of either one or two recipient nerves, there was a recovery of toe spreading to 60-72% of the preoperative value (lowest value around 47%). Electrical stimulation of the end-to-side attached radial or median/ulnar nerves 6 months after repair resulted in contraction of muscles in the forearm innervated by these nerves (median tetanic muscle force up to 70% of the contralateral side). Retrograde labeling showed that both myelinated (morphometry) sensory and motor axons were recruited to the end-to-side attached nerve and that these axons emerged from the motor and sensory neuronal pool of the brachial plexus. Double retrograde labeling indicated that collateral sprouting was one mechanism by which regeneration occurred. We also found that two recipient nerves could be supported from a single donor nerve. Our results suggest that end-to-side repair may be one alternative to reconstruct a brachial plexus injury when no proximal nerve end is available.
- ISSN: 1085-9489