The delayed effects of irreversible electroporation ablation on nerves
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To evaluate the delayed effects of irreversible electroporation (IRE) ablation on nerves.
The study was approved by the institutional animal care and use committee. CT-guided IRE-ablation (electric field per distance, 1,500 V/cm; pulse length, 70 μs; number of pulses, 90) of 6 sciatic nerves was performed in 6 pigs that were euthanized 2 months after ablation. The sciatic nerves were harvested immediately after euthanasia for histopathological evaluation. Sections from selected specimens were stained with haematoxylin and eosin (H&E), Masson’s trichrome (MT) method for collagen, and immunohistochemistry was performed for S100 and neurofilaments (markers for Schwann cells and axons, respectively).
All nerves showed a preserved endoneural architecture and presence of numerous small calibre axons associated with Schwann cell hyperplasia, consistent with axonal regeneration. A fibrous scar was observed in the adjacent muscle tissue, confirming ablation at the site examined.
After IRE-ablation of nerves, the preservation of the architecture of the endoneurium and the proliferation of Schwann cells may enable axonal regeneration as demonstrated after 2 months in this study.
• Irreversible electroporation (IRE) offers promise for non-thermal tumour ablation.
• Preservation of endoneural architecture and proliferation of Schwann cells follow IRE-ablation.
• Preservation of architecture and proliferation of Schwann cells may enable axonal regeneration.
• Despite morphological regeneration, nerve function remains variable after 2 months.
KeywordsAthermal ablation Irreversible electroporation Sciatic nerve CT-guidance Animal study
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