Delayed repair of the peripheral nerve: A novel model in the rat sciatic nerve

Peng Wu, Robert J. Spinner, Yudong Gu, Michael J. Yaszemski, Anthony J. Windebank, Huan Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Peripheral nerve reconstruction is seldom done in the acute phase of nerve injury due to concomitant injuries and the uncertainty of the extent of nerve damage. A proper model that mimics true clinical scenarios is critical but lacking. The aim of this study is to develop a standardized, delayed sciatic nerve repair model in rats and validate the feasibility of direct secondary neurrorraphy after various delay intervals. Immediately or 1, 4, 6, 8 and 12 weeks after sciatic nerve transection, nerve repair was carried out. A successful tension-free direct neurorraphy (TFDN) was defined when the gap was shorter than 4.0. mm and the stumps could be reapproximated with 10-0 stitches without detachment. Compound muscle action potential (CMAP) was recorded postoperatively. Gaps between the two nerve stumps ranged from 0 to 9. mm, the average being 1.36, 2.85, 3.43, 3.83 and 6.4. mm in rats with 1, 4, 6, 8 and 12 week delay, respectively. The rate of successful TFDN was 78% overall. CMAP values of 1 and 4 week delay groups were not different from the immediate repair group, whereas CMAP amplitudes of 6, 8 and 12 week delay groups were significantly lower. A novel, standardized delayed nerve repair model is established. For this model to be sensitive, the interval between nerve injury and secondary repair should be at least over 4 weeks. Thereafter the longer the delay, the more challenging the model is for nerve regeneration. The choice of delay intervals can be tailored to meet specific requirements in future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Animal model
  • Delay
  • Model
  • Nerve
  • Secondary repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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