Background: Interpositional jump graft (IPJG) is a nerve graft axonally supercharged from the hypoglossal nerve. However, for using the technique, an autologous nerve, which should contain the great auricular and sural nerves, must be obtained. Depending on the donor site, unavoidable issues such as nerve disorders and postoperative scarring may appear. To reduce the issues, in this study, the authors developed an end-to-side neurorrhaphy technique with the recipient nerve and an artificial nerve conduit and investigated the efficacy of an IPJG with an artificial nerve conduit in a rat facial nerve paresis model. Methods: A ligature clip was used to crush the facial nerve trunk, thereby creating a partial facial nerve paresis model. An artificial nerve conduit was then prepared with a 10-mm-long silicone tube containing 10 μL type I collagen and used to create an IPJG between the facial nerve trunk and the hypoglossal nerve (the silicone tube group). Thirteen weeks after the surgery, the outcome was histologically and physiologically compared with conventional IPJG with autograft using the great auricular nerve. Results: Retrograde tracer test confirmed a double innervation by the facial and hypoglossal nerve nuclei. In the autograft and silicone tube groups, the regeneration of myelinated axons was observed. Conclusion: In this study, the authors successfully developed an end-to-side neurorrhaphy technique with the recipient nerve and an artificial nerve conduit, and revealed that an IPJG in the conduit was effective in the rat facial nerve paresis model.
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