Journal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Surgical repair of a 30 mm long human median nerve defect in the distal forearm by implantation of a chitosan-PGA nerve guidance conduit.

PMID 21370489


This paper describes a clinical case study in which a chitosan/polyglycolic acid nerve guidance conduit (chitosan-PGA NGC) was utilized to repair a 30 mm long median nerve defect in the right distal forearm of a 55 year-old male patient. Thirty-six months after the nerve repair, the palm abduction of the thumb and the thumb-index digital opposition recovered, facilitating the patient to accomplish fine activities, such as handling chopsticks. Static two-point discrimination measured 14, 9 and 9 mm in the thumb, index and middle fingers of the right hand. Reproducible compound muscle action potentials were recorded on the right abductor pollicis. The ninhydrin test, a classical method for assessing sympathetic nerve function, showed partial recovery of the perspiration function of the injured thumb, index and middle fingers. This repair case suggested a possible strategy for the clinical reconstruction of extended defects in human peripheral nerve trunks by the implantation of chitosan-PGA NGCs.