The integrity of the blood supply to three equal segments of a nerve was determined, after the nerve was cut and folded but with its epineurial vasculature remaining intact. A 7.5-cm length of the rabbit sciatic nerve was elevated on a single pedicle. The epineurium was slit longitudinally, and the nerve fascicles were exposed, cut transversely into three equal segments, and then folded so that they were parallel. This is equivalent to a vascularized, folded, nerve graft in the clinical setting. Blood flow was quantified with microspheres in six rabbits, both after elevating the nerve and then again after it had been cut and folded. Mean blood flows in the three segments ranged from 4.4 to 6.2 ml/min/100 g after elevation, and from 4.7 to 8.0 ml/min/100 g after cutting and folding. Dividing and folding of the nerves did not significantly decrease blood flow in any of the nerve segments. The results support this technique as a valid method for vascularized, cable, nerve grafting.
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