Use of skeletal muscle tissue in peripheral nerve repair: review of the literature.


The management of peripheral nerve injury continues to be a major clinical challenge. The most widely used technique for bridging defects in peripheral nerves is the use of autologous nerve grafts. This technique, however, necessitates a donor nerve and corresponding deficit. Many alternative techniques have thus been developed. The use of skeletal muscle tissue as graft material for nerve repair is one example. The rationale regarding the use of the skeletal muscle tissue technique is the availability of a longitudinally oriented basal lamina and extracellular matrix components that direct and enhance regenerating nerve fibers. These factors provide superiority over other bridging methods as vein grafts or (non)degradable nerve conduits. The main disadvantages of this technique are the risk that nerve fibers can grow out of the muscle tissue during nerve regeneration, and that a donor site is necessary to harvest the muscle tissue. Despite publications on nerve conduits as an alternative for peripheral nerve repair, autologous nerve grafting is still the standard care for treatment of a nerve gap in the clinical situation; however, the use of the skeletal muscle tissue technique can be added to the surgeon's arsenal of peripheral nerve repair tools, especially for bridging short nerve defects or when traditional nerve autografts cannot be employed. This technique has been investigated both experimentally and clinically and, in this article, an overview of the literature on skeletal muscle grafts for bridging peripheral nerve defects is presented.

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@article{Meek2004UseOS, title={Use of skeletal muscle tissue in peripheral nerve repair: review of the literature.}, author={Marcel F. Meek and Artur Varej{\~a}o and Stefano Geuna}, journal={Tissue engineering}, year={2004}, volume={10 7-8}, pages={1027-36} }