Nerve regeneration: is there an alternative to nervous graft?

J Reconstr Microsurg. 2014 Nov;30(9):607-16. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1372477. Epub 2014 Aug 4.


Background: In nerve injury with nervous gap, no restitution method was found better than the autograft, however, it has the disadvantage of damaging a normal nerve to be used as a graft. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a possible filler material for vein grafts used as conduits for nerve regeneration, preventing its collapse, and providing growth factors and osteoconductive proteins.

Methods: Isogenic rats were randomly divided into three groups. They received nerve autografts (GRF), PRP-containing vein grafts or a sham operation. Outcomes were evaluated by the sciatic functional index (SFI), morphometric, and morphologic analyses of the nerve distal to the lesion, and the number of spinal cord motoneurons positive for retrograde Fluoro-Gold (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc., Dallas, TX) tracer.

Results: The PRP and GRF groups had lower SFI values than the control animals throughout the postoperative period. The SFI was significantly higher in the PRP group than the GRF group at 90 days postoperatively (p = 0.011). Fiber diameter and number of motoneurons were significantly decreased in both the PRP and GRF groups, as compared with the control.

Conclusion: PRP within a vein conduit may be an effective alternative or adjuvant to GRF, the current preferred treatment for nerve injury with a nerve gap, and further investigations are required to fully define the role of PRP in nerve regeneration.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autografts
  • Male
  • Nerve Regeneration*
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Veins / transplantation*