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Autologous Nucleus Pulposus Induces Neurophysiologic and Histologic Changes in Porcine Cauda Equina Nerve Roots

Olmarker, Kjell, MD, PhD; Rydevik, Björn, MD, PhD; Nordborg, Claes, MD, PhD*

Autologous Nucleus Pulposus Induces Neurophysiologic and Histologic Changes in Porcine Cauda Equina Nerve Roots: PDF Only
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Epidural application of autologous nucleus pulposus in pigs, without mechanical nerve root compression, induced a pronounced reduction in nerve conduction velocity in the cauda equina nerve roots after 1-7 days, compared to epidural application of retroperitoneal fat in control experiments. Histologically, the nerve fiber injury was more pronounced after application of nucleus pulposus than after control tissue application. The results demonstrate that nucleus pulposus may induce nerve tissue injury by mechanisms other than mechanical compression. Such mechanisms may be based on direct biochemical effects of nucleus pulposus components on nerve fiber structure and function and microvascular changes including inflammatory reactions in the nerve roots.

*From the Department of Orthopaedics and Department of Pathology, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgren Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Supported by grants from the Swedish Medical Research Council (8685, 9758), the Greta och Einar Asker Research Foundation, the Carin Trygger Memorial Foundation, the Inga Britt and Arne Lundberg Research Foundation, the Félix Neubergh Foundation and the Tore Nilsson Research Foundation.

Accepted for publication March 29, 1993.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.