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Plastic Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open




BACKGROUND: Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a synthetic, biodegradable, and hyperosmotic material promising in the treatment of acute peripheral nerve injuries. Our team set out to investigate the impact of fibrin glue upon PEG fusion in a rat model.

METHODS: Eighteen rats underwent sciatic nerve transection and PEG fusion. Electrophysiologic testing was performed to measure nerve function and distal muscle twitch. Fibrin glue was applied and testing repeated. Due to preliminary findings, fibrin glue was applied to an uncut nerve in five rodents and testing was conducted before and after glue application. Mann-Whitney U tests were used to compare median values between outcome measures. A Shapiro-Wilk test was used to determine normality of data for each comparison, significance set at a P value less than 0.05.

RESULTS: PEG fusion was confirmed in 13 nerves with no significant change in amplitude (P < 0.001), and conduction velocity (P = 0.023). Stimulation of the nerve after application of fibrin glue did not produce distal muscle twitch. Five uncut nerves with fibrin glue application blocked distal muscle contraction following stimulation.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that fibrin glue alters the nerve's function. The immediate confirmation of PEG fusion via distal muscle twitch is blocked with application fibrin glue in this experimental model. Survival and functional outcome studies are necessary to understand if this has implications on the long-term functional outcomes.


Copyright © 2024 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This article is available under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license and permits non-commercial use of the work as published, without adaptation or alteration provided the work is fully attributed.