Bridging peripheral nerve defects with muscle-vein combined guides

Neurol Res. 2004 Mar;26(2):139-44. doi: 10.1179/016164104225013752.


Various tubulization techniques can be used to bridge peripheral nerve lesions with substance loss. Among the different materials that have been used so far in alternative to traditional fresh nerve autografts, fresh muscle-vein combined conduits (made by a vein segment filled with fresh skeletal muscle) proved to be particularly effective. In this study, nerve repair of 10-mm long nerve defects by means of muscle-vein combined tubes was compared with repair by means of traditional nerve autografts in the rat sciatic nerve experimental model. Results did not reveal any significant difference between the two groups of regenerated nerves with respect to the total number, mean density and mean size of myelinated nerve fibers. In addition, we also report the results of an experimental study in the rabbit sciatic nerve model, which showed that fresh skeletal muscle enrichment of the vein segment made it possible to bridge 55-mm long nerve gaps. These results provide further evidence of the effectiveness of fresh muscle-vein combined grafts and support the view that this type of conduit can be used also for repairing long nerve gaps.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / transplantation*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / ultrastructure
  • Nerve Regeneration / physiology
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology
  • Peripheral Nerves / transplantation*
  • Peripheral Nerves / ultrastructure
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Sciatic Nerve / physiology
  • Sciatic Nerve / transplantation
  • Sciatic Nerve / ultrastructure
  • Transplants*
  • Veins / physiology
  • Veins / transplantation*
  • Veins / ultrastructure