We observed incidentally that rat sciatic nerve in contact with oxidized cellulose (OC), an absorbable hemostatic agent, underwent focal fiber degeneration, and we undertook studies to determine the mechanism of its production. Topically applied OC generated acute nerve damage within the adjacent nerve fascicle of rat sciatic nerve in a dose-dependent fashion (r = 0.99, P < 0.01, threshold amount: 9.9 mg). In single teased fibers, the predominant type of myelinated fiber damage was axonal degeneration. The subperineurial blood flow of the rat sciatic nerve was serially measured by microelectrode hydrogen polarography, and the reduction at 90 min after application of OC was not greater than that of controls. A thin polyethylene membrane interposed between OC and the sciatic nerve almost completely prevented the nerve damage. These data suggest that the chief mechanism of nerve damage by OC was neither compression nor ischemia, but was a diffusible chemical mechanism. Care should be taken to avoid direct OC application around peripheral nerves.
- Nerve blood flow
- Oxidized cellulose
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine