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Insulation of simultaneous arterial and nerve repairs in the rat: the effectiveness of the autologous vein graft

Author(s): Tuncali D | Cigsar B | Talim B | Yuksel-Barutcu A | Aslan G

Journal: Neuroanatomy
ISSN 1303-1783

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 51;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: anatomy | neuroanatomy | vein | graft | nerve | artery | repair | microsurgery

The use of a vein graft as a barrier between arterial and nerve repair sites has not beenreported previously. The aim of this study is to present the possible use of the vein graft forinsulating a nerve repair site from an adjacent arterial anastomosis. Bilateral longitudinalincisions were created on 5 Sprague-Dawley rats. Bilateral nerve coaptations and femoralartery repairs were performed. The left nerve repair site was wrapped with the vein graftobtained from the ipsilateral femoral vein. At the postoperative second month, the repairsites were visually evaluated. Blunt dissection between the nerve and the artery wasperformed and specimens were obtained for histopathological evaluation. There were nosigns of absorption or degradation of the graft under the operating microscope. Minimaladhesions were noticed between the vein-wrapped nerve and the artery. In the vein-wrappedside, mechanical dissection was significantly easier. Histopathological evaluation revealedsufficient insulation of the nerve from the artery repair site. Vein grafts can be used inorder to prevent adhesions between repair sites of adjacent injured structures. Despite thefavorable results achieved in this model, we do not urge the routine use of this method inevery clinical situation. However in a clinical setting that an extensive fibrosis is expected,such as combined and multiple injuries affecting tendons, nerves and arteries, we believe thetechnique has a place as a favorable adjuvant procedure.
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