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  • Author or Editor: Mary F. Barbe x
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Justin M. Brown, Mary F. Barbe, Michael E. Albo, H. Henry Lai and Michael R. Ruggieri Sr.

Object

Nerve transfers are effective for restoring control to paralyzed somatic muscle groups and, recently, even to denervated detrusor muscle in a canine model. A pilot project was performed in cadavers to examine the feasibility of transferring somatic nerves to vesical branches of the pelvic nerve as a method for potentially restoring innervation to control the detrusor muscle in humans.

Methods

Eleven cadavers were dissected bilaterally to expose intercostal, ilioinguinal, and iliohypogastric nerves, along with vesical branches of the pelvic nerve. Ease of access and ability to transfer the former 3 nerves to the pelvic vesical nerves were assessed, as were nerve cross-sectional areas.

Results

The pelvic vesical nerves were accessed at the base of the bladder, inferior to the ureter and accompanied by inferior vesical vessels. The T-11 and T-12 intercostal nerves were too short for transfer to the pelvic vesical nerves without grafting. Ilioinguinal and iliohypogastric nerves (L-1 origin) were identified retroperitoneally and, with full dissection, were easily transferred to the pelvic vesical nerves intraabdominally. The mean cross-sectional area of the dominant pelvic vesical branch was 2.60 ± 0.169 mm2; ilioinguinal and iliohypogastric branches at the suggested transection site were 2.38 ± 0.32 mm2 (the means are expressed ± SEM).

Conclusions

Use of the ilioinguinal or iliohypogastric nerves for heterotopic transfer to pelvic vesical nerves is surgically feasible, based on anatomical location and cross-sectional areas.

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Justin M. Brown, Mary F. Barbe, Michael E. Albo and Michael R. Ruggieri Sr.

Object

Nerve transfers are an effective means of restoring control to paralyzed somatic muscle groups and have recently been shown to be effective in denervated detrusor muscle in a canine model. A cadaveric study was performed to examine the anatomical feasibility of transferring femoral muscular nerve branches to vesical branches of the pelvic nerve as a method of potentially restoring innervation to control the detrusor muscle in humans.

Methods

Twenty cadavers were dissected bilaterally to expose pelvic and femoral muscular nerve branches. Ease of access and ability to transfer the nerves were assessed, as were nerve cross-sectional areas.

Results

The pelvic nerve was accessed at the base of the bladder, inferior to the ureter, and accompanied by inferior vesical vessels. Muscular branches of the femoral nerve to the vastus medialis and intermedius muscles (L-3 and L-4 origins) were followed distally for 17.4 ± 0.8 cm. Two muscle branches were split from the femoral nerve trunk, and tunneled inferior to the inguinal ligament. One branch was moved medially toward the base of the bladder and linked to the ipsilateral pelvic nerve. The second branch was tunneled superior to the bladder and linked to the contralateral pelvic nerve. The cross-sectional area of the pelvic nerve vesical branch was 2.60 ± 0.169 mm2 (mean ± SEM), and the femoral nerve branch at the suggested transection site was 4.40 ± 0.41 mm2.

Conclusions

Use of femoral nerve muscular branches from the vastus medialis and intermedius muscles for heterotopic nerve transfer of bilateral pelvic nerves is surgically feasible, based on anatomical location and cross-sectional areas.

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Mary F. Barbe, Justin M. Brown, Michel A. Pontari, Gregory E. Dean, Alan S. Braverman and Michael R. Ruggieri Sr.

Object

Nerve transfers are an effective means of restoring control to paralyzed somatic muscle groups and, recently, even denervated detrusor muscle. The authors performed a cadaveric pilot project to examine the feasibility of restoring control to the urethral and anal sphincters using a femoral motor nerve branch to reinnervate the pudendal nerve through a perineal approach.

Methods

Eleven cadavers were dissected bilaterally to expose the pudendal and femoral nerve branches. Pertinent landmarks and distances that could be used to locate these nerves were assessed and measured, as were nerve cross-sectional areas.

Results

A long motor branch of the femoral nerve was followed into the distal vastus medialis muscle for a distance of 17.4 ± 0.8 cm, split off from the main femoral nerve trunk, and transferred medially and superiorly to the pudendal nerve in the Alcock canal, a distance of 13.7 ± 0.71 cm. This was performed via a perineal approach. The cross-sectional area of the pudendal nerve was 5.64 ± 0.49 mm2, and the femoral nerve motor branch at the suggested transection site was 4.40 ± 0.41 mm2.

Conclusions

The use of a femoral nerve motor branch to the vastus medialis muscle for heterotopic nerve transfer to the pudendal nerve is surgically feasible, based on anatomical location and cross-sectional areas.

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Ekta Tiwari, Danielle M. Salvadeo, Alan S. Braverman, Nagat A. Frara, Lucas Hobson, Geneva Cruz, Justin M. Brown, Michael Mazzei, Michel A. Pontari, Amanda R. White, Mary F. Barbe and Michael R. Ruggieri Sr.

OBJECTIVE

Previous patient surveys have shown that patients with spinal cord or cauda equina injuries prioritize recovery of bladder function. The authors sought to determine if nerve transfer after long-term decentralization restores bladder and sphincter function in canines.

METHODS

Twenty-four female canines were included in this study. Transection of sacral roots and hypogastric nerves (S Dec) was performed in 6 animals, and 7 animals underwent this procedure with additional transection of the L7 dorsal roots (L7d+S Dec). Twelve months later, 3 L7d+S Dec animals underwent obturator-to-pelvic nerve and sciatic-to-pudendal nerve transfers (L7d+S Dec+Reinn). Eleven animals served as controls. Squat-and-void behaviors were tracked before and after decentralization, after reinnervation, and following awake bladder-filling procedures. Bladders were cystoscopically injected with Fluoro-Gold 3 weeks before euthanasia. Immediately before euthanasia, transferred nerves were stimulated to evaluate motor function. Dorsal root ganglia were assessed for retrogradely labeled neurons.

RESULTS

Transection of only sacral roots failed to reduce squat-and-void postures; L7 dorsal root transection was necessary for significant reduction. Three L7d+S Dec animals showing loss of squat-and-void postures post-decentralization were chosen for reinnervation and recovered these postures 4–6 months after reinnervation. Each showed obturator nerve stimulation–induced bladder contractions and sciatic nerve stimulation–induced anal sphincter contractions immediately prior to euthanasia. One showed sciatic nerve stimulation–induced external urethral sphincter contractions and voluntarily voided twice following nonanesthetized bladder filling. Reinnervation was confirmed by increased labeled cells in L2 and the L4–6 dorsal root ganglia (source of obturator nerve in canines) of L7d+S Dec+Reinn animals, compared with controls.

CONCLUSIONS

New neuronal pathways created by nerve transfer can restore bladder sensation and motor function in lower motor neuron–lesioned canines even 12 months after decentralization.