Experimental sensory reinnervation of the median nerve by nerve transfer in monkeys
PB Chacha ; A Krishnamurti ; K Soin

Abstract

Anastomosis of the superficial radial nerve, the dorsal cutaneous branch of the ulnar nerve, or both to the distal cut end of a widely resected median nerve in monkeys was followed by successful sensory reinnervation of the thumb, index finger, and long finger within thiry-five to forty weeks. Success was ascertained by the presence of an intact anastomosis as observed grossly without any evidence of spontaneous regeneration of the median nerve. Reinnervation was confirmed by histological and histochemical reactions observed in the Meissner's corpuscles in the skin innervated by the median nerve. The demonstration of nerve fiber and the presence of normal specific and non-specific cholinesterase reactions exhibited by the Meissner's corpuscles in the cholinesterase preparations were considered the histological criteria for successful reinnervation. These histological and histochemical observations may explain the reported functional sensory recovery in clinical cases when similar nerve transfers were done.