The effect of different application timings of hyperbaric oxygen treatment on nerve regeneration in rats

Microsurgery. 2016 Oct;36(7):586-592. doi: 10.1002/micr.30023. Epub 2016 Jan 16.

Abstract

Background: The aim of the study was to determine the effect of different application timings of hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBO) on nerve regeneration in rats.

Materials and methods: A total of forty 12-week-old female Wistar albino rats were used. The sciatic nerve was transected. The nerve ends were then realigned and repaired using standard microsurgical techniques. Animals were randomly assigned to four groups: 1) No hyperbaric oxygen, sectioned and repaired; 2) HBO started at postoperative first hour, sectioned and repaired; 3) HBO started at postoperative first week, sectioned, and repaired; and 4) HBO started at postoperative second week, sectioned, and repaired. All rats in all groups were evaluated with gait analysis at 8 and 16 weeks postoperatively. Sciatic function index was calculated. Sciatic nerve samples were taken after gait analysis at 16th week. Foreign body reaction, the intensity of the inflammatory cells and types, repair-associated vascular proliferation in the field, axonal vacuolar degeneration of the fibers from the cut line transition density and switching layout, and myelinization density with perineural sheath were evaluated histopathologically.

Results: At the 16th week, group 2 demonstrated the best gait analysis results. Gait analysis was better for group 3 than groups 1 and 4 (P < 0.05). No significant differences were observed among the groups in inflammation (P > 0.05). Fibrosis was statistically less in group 2 than that in other groups (P < 0.05); however, no significant differences were observed among groups 1, 3, and 4 (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that initiating HBO early after nerve repair will make a positive impact on recovery. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery 36:586-592, 2016.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / methods*
  • Microsurgery*
  • Nerve Regeneration / physiology*
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries / surgery
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries / therapy*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sciatic Nerve / injuries*
  • Sciatic Nerve / physiopathology
  • Sciatic Nerve / surgery
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome