The use of conventional and invaginated autologous vein grafts for nerve repair by means of entubulation

M. O. Kelleher, R. K. Al-Abri, M. L. Eleutério, L. M. Myles, D. V. Lenihan, M. A. Glasby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Nerve repair by entubulation has re-emerged recently as a possible means of enhancing the microenvironment at the site of repair by inclusion within the tube of various trophic factors. To this end, a modification of the veingraft technique has been used by turning it inside out before repair, to expose the adventitial surface to the regenerating axons. A comparative study of standard vein grafting versus the inside-out technique was carried out in two equal-sized groups of inbred Lewis rats. Jugular vein isografts were derived from litter mates. The sciatic nerve was transected and repaired by entubulation using the standard vein graft in one group and the inside-out graft in the other group. Morphometric and electrophysiological assessment were carried out 3 months after repair. When the animals were assessed it was found that both the standard-vein-graft group and the inside-out group exhibited a reduction in all of the morphometric and electrophysiological variables when compared to normal nerves. The mean axon diameter, fibre diameter and myelin sheath thickness were, however, found to be greater in the group that underwent the inside-out repair. The superior morphometric results seen in the inside-out group were not matched by improved electrophysiological performance. It is concluded that the use of the inside-out technique confers no functional benefit over standard vein grafting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Plastic Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Entubulation
  • Nerve repair
  • Vein graft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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