An experimental model of peripheral nerve adhesion in rabbits

Br J Plast Surg. 2005 Jun;58(4):533-40. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2004.05.012.


We studied the effects of peripheral nerve adhesion in a rabbit sciatic nerve model. After nerve exposure, its adventitial layer was sutured with 8-0 nylon to the nerve bed, which had been cauterised to promote adhesion. Nerve kinematics, electrophysiology, blood flow and histology were assessed. Rabbits in which Fontana's bands were visible as normal through the epineurium, classified as a nonadhesion group (group I), lacked intraneural fibrosis. In this group, nerve conduction and nerve blood flow were well maintained. Rabbits in which Fontana's bands could not be seen were classified as the adhesion group (group II). This group was classified into two levels pathologically; thickening of epineurium and perineurium was observed but no endoneurial fibrosis (group IIa), and endoneurial fibrosis (Wallerian degeneration, myelin sheath thinning and fibrosis between nerve fibers) was noted (group IIb). Compound muscle action potentials (CMAP) were reduced in amplitude and blood flow was significantly decreased at adhesion sites in group IIb. In conclusion, adhesion of peripheral nerve to surrounding tissues results in fibrosis in the nerve that contributes to peripheral nerve dysfunction.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Adhesiveness
  • Animals
  • Cicatrix / etiology
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fibrosis
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / surgery*
  • Neural Conduction
  • Peripheral Nerves / pathology*
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Rabbits
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Sciatic Nerve / blood supply
  • Sciatic Nerve / pathology
  • Sciatic Nerve / physiopathology
  • Sciatic Nerve / surgery
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tissue Adhesions / etiology
  • Tissue Adhesions / pathology
  • Tissue Adhesions / physiopathology