Interposition of a pedicle fat flap significantly improves specificity of reinnervation and motor recovery after repair of transected nerves in adjacency in rats
2001 (English)In: Plastic and reconstructive surgery (1963), ISSN 0032-1052, E-ISSN 1529-4242, Vol. 107, no 1, 116-123 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Despite highest standards in nerve repair, functional recovery following nerve transection still remains unsatisfactory. Nonspecific reinnervation of target organs caused by misdirected axonal growth at the repair site is regarded as one reason for a poor functional outcome. This study was conducted to establish a method for preventing aberrant reinnervation between transected and repaired nerves in adjacency.
Rat sciatic nerve was transected and repaired as follows: epineural sutures of the sciatic nerve (group A, n = 6), fascicular repair of tibial and peroneal nerves respectively (group B, n = 8), and, as in group B, separating both nerves using a pedicle fat flap as barrier (group C, n = 8). As control only, the tibial nerve was transected and repaired (group D, n = 5).
Muscle contraction force of the gastrocnemius muscle was significantly higher in group C as compared with groups A and B after 4 months. Muscle weight showed significantly lower values in group A as compared with groups B, C, and D. Histologic examination in group C revealed little growth of axons from the tibial to the peroneal nerve and vice versa. This axon crossing was observed only when gaps between the fat cells were available. These findings were confirmed by a significantly lower rate of misdirected axonal growth as compared with groups A and B using sequential retrograde double labeling technique of the soleus motoneuron pool.
We conclude that a pedicle fat flap significantly prevents aberrant reinnervation between repaired adjacent nerves resulting in significantly improved motor recovery in rats. Clinically, this is of importance for brachial plexus, sciatic nerve, and facial nerve repair.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 107, no 1, 116-123 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-84788PubMedID: 11176609OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-84788DiVA: diva2:561866