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Predegenerated Nerve Allografts Versus Fresh Nerve Allografts in Nerve Repair

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  • Human Health Sciences :: Neurology [D14]
  • Sciences De La Santé Humaine :: Neurologie [D14]
  • Human Health Sciences :: Orthopedics
  • Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine [D17]
  • Sciences De La Santé Humaine :: Orthopédie
  • Rééducation & Médecine Sportive [D17]
  • Biology
  • Medicine


This study reevaluated the possibility of using predegenerated nerves as donor nerve allografts for nerve repair and compared the results of functional recovery to those obtained after standard, fresh nerve allograft repair. Twenty donor rats underwent a ligature/ section of the left sciatic nerve 4 weeks before nerve graft harvesting. Forty recipient rats underwent severing of the left sciatic nerve leaving a 15-mm gap between the nerve stumps. Graft repair was undertaken using either the predegenerated left sciatic nerve of the 20 donor rats (predegenerated group, 20 recipient rats) or the normal right sciatic nerve of the 20 donor rats (fresh group, 20 recipient rats). Recovery of function was assessed by gait analysis, electrophysiologic testing and histologic studies. Walking tracks measurements at 2 and 3 months, electromyography parameters at 2 and 3 months, peroperative nerve conduction velocity and nerve action potential amplitude measurements at 3 months, as well as assessments of myelinated nerve fiber density and surface of myelination showed that fresh and predegenerated nerve grafts induced a comparable return of function although there was some trend in higher electrophysiologic values in the predegenerated group. The only slight but significant difference was a larger mean nerve fiber diameter in the nerve segment distal to a predegenerated nerve graft compared to a fresh nerve graft. Although our study does not show a dramatic long-term advantage for predegenerated nerve grafts compared to fresh nerve grafts, their use as prosthetic material is encouraging.

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