Possible chemical contribution from chromic gut sutures produces disorders of pain sensation like those seen in man

T J MavesS T Meller


Recently, it has been reported that loosely constrictive chromic gut ligatures around the sciatic nerve produce behavioral evidence of neuropathic pain in rats. It has been shown that axonal swelling after ligation results in a constriction injury associated with a decrease in the number of both large-diameter myelinated and small-diameter unmyelinated axons, but the mechanism(s) producing spontaneous pain and thermal hyperalgesia remain largely unknown. The present study systematically evaluated potential mechanisms involved in development of the behavioral changes produced by chromic gut ligatures loosely tied around the sciatic nerve. Four ligatures of either silk (4-0), plain gut (4-0), or chromic gut (4-0, 3-0, or 2-0) were placed loosely around the left sciatic nerve of male Sprague-Dawley rats. An additional group of rats had 8 x 0.5 cm sections of 4-0 chromic gut laid adjacent to the left sciatic nerve. The right sciatic nerve was exposed in all rats for sham surgery. The posture and gait of all rats was qualitatively assessed before (day 0) and for 20-30 days after surgery. Rats were tested for evidence of thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia prior to surgery, and on postoperative days 3, 5, 10, 20 and, in some groups, ...Continue Reading


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