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Nerve Regeneration by PEMF in Rats

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Hindawi Publishing Corporation BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 401760, 6 pages
Research Article
Does Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy Influence Nerve Regeneration in the Median Nerve Model of the Rat?
Benedicta E. Beck-Broichsitter,1 Androniki Lamia,2 Stefano Geuna,3 Federica Fregnan,3 Ralf Smeets,1 Stephan T. Becker,4 and Nektarios Sinis2
1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, Campus Forschung Geba ̈ude N27, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
2 Clinic for Plastic Surgery with Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery, St. Marien Hospital, Gallwitzallee 123-143, 12249 Berlin, Germany
3 Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Turin, Regione Gonzole 10, 10043 Orbassano, Torino, Italy
4 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Schleswig-Holstein University Hospital, Arnold-Heller-Straße 3, Haus 26,
24105 Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Correspondence should be addressed to Benedicta E. Beck-Broichsitter; Received 4 March 2014; Revised 5 June 2014; Accepted 5 June 2014; Published 21 July 2014
Academic Editor: Fausto Viterbo
Copyright © 2014 Benedicta E. Beck-Broichsitter et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of pulsed magnetic field therapy on peripheral nerve regeneration after median nerve injury and primary coaptation in the rat. Both median nerves were surgically exposed and denervated in 24 female Wistar rats. A microsurgical coaptation was performed on the right side, whereas on the left side a spontaneous healing was prevented. The study group underwent a daily pulsed magnetic field therapy; the other group served as a control group. The grasping force was recorded 2 weeks after the surgical intervention for a period of 12 weeks. The right median nerve was excised and histologically examined. The histomorphometric data and the functional assessments were analyzed by t-test statistics and one-way ANOVA. One-way ANOVA indicated a statistically significant influence of group affiliation and grasping force (𝑃 = 0.0078). Grasping strength was higher on a significant level in the experimental group compared to the control group permanently from the 9th week to the end of the study. T- test statistics revealed a significantly higher weight of the flexor digitorum sublimis muscle (𝑃 = 0.0385) in the experimental group. The histological evaluation did not reveal any statistically significant differences concerning the histomorphometric parameters. Our results suggest that the pulsed magnetic field therapy has a positive influence on the functional aspects of neural regeneration. More studies are needed to precisely evaluate and optimize the intensity and duration of the application.
1. Introduction
Injuries of the peripheral nerve system still remain a great challenge in reconstructive surgery [1]. The outcome of recovering nerve function remains highly dependent on the period of time between injury and nerve repair in order to prevent irreversible muscular atrophy due to denervation of the target muscles [2–4]. For decades now, operative techniques have evolved to restore the nerve continuity from primary coaptation to autologous nerve grafts [5, 6] in order to achieve a reconstruction without any tension. If these methods are not applicable and nerve continuity cannot
be restored otherwise [7–9], nerve transfer techniques are performed. Here, scientific approaches to create artificial nerve structures to improve the outcome and replace the autologous nerve grafting procedures in order to avoid the accompanying comorbidities have to be mentioned as well [6, 10, 11]. But even if the nerve continuity is restored immediately by means of a primary nerve coaptation or even with complex nerve transfers, depending always on the pattern of nerve injury, the patient oftentimes does not regain full complete nerve function [12].
Due to the existing limitations of surgical repair, neural regeneration may be additionally improved, supported, or

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