, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 53–58 | Cite as

Nerve degeneration in inguinal hernia specimens

  • G. AmatoEmail author
  • E. Ober
  • G. Romano
  • G. Salamone
  • A. Agrusa
  • G. Gulotta
  • R. Bussani
Original Article



The histological study of the herniated inguinal area is rare in the literature. This report is focused on the detection of structural changes of the nerves within tissues bordering the inguinal hernia of cadavers. Their physiopathological consequences are hypothesized.

Materials and methods

Primary inguinal hernia was diagnosed in 30 fresh cadavers. Tissue specimens from the inguinal region close to and around the hernia opening were excised for histological examination. A control of the data was achieved through tissue samples excised from equivalent sites of the inguinal region in 15 cadavers without hernia.


The detected nerves in the inguinal area demonstrated pathological changes such as fibrotic degeneration, atrophy, and fatty dystrophy of the axons. The thickening of the perineural sheath was constantly seen. These findings were consistently present, independent of the hernia type.


The detected nerve alterations lead us to imagine a worsening, or even the cessation, of the nervous impulse to the muscles, leading to atrophy and weakening of the abdominal wall. This could represent one of the multifactorial causes of hernia genesis.


Inguinal hernia Etiology Nerve degeneration Atrophy Fibrosis 


  1. 1.
    Lytle WJ (1961) Anatomy and function in hernia repair. Proc R Soc Med 54:967–970PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Stoppa R (1984–2004) Como se forma una hernia inguinal? Actualizacion en chirugia del aparato digestivo. Fundacion MMA 8:469–473Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Flament JB (2006) Funktionelle Anatomie der Bauchwand. Chirurg 77:401–407CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Read RC (2003) Recent advances in the repair of groin herniation. Curr Probl Surg 40(1):13–79CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Peacock EE Jr, Madden JW (1974) Studies on the biology and treatment of recurrent inguinal hernia. II. Morphological changes. Ann Surg 179:567–571CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Klinge U, Binnebösel M, Mertens PR (2006) Are collagens the culprits in the development of incisional and inguinal hernia disease? Hernia 10(6):472–477CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pans A, Albert A, Lapière CM, Nusgens B (2002) Biochemical study of collagen in adult groin hernias. J Surg Res 95(2):107–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Friedman DW, Boyd CD, Norton P, Greco RS, Boyarsky AH, Mackenzie JW, Deak SB (1993) Increases in type III collagen gene expression and protein synthesis in patients with inguinal hernias. Ann Surg 218(6):754–760CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Amato G, Sciacchitano T, Bell SG, Romano G, Cocchiara G, Lo Monte AI, Romano M (2009) Sphincter-like motion following mechanical dilation of the internal inguinal ring during indirect inguinal hernia procedure. Hernia 13(1):67–72CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Amato G, Marasa L, Sciacchitano T, Bell SG, Romano G, Gioviale MC, Lo Monte AI, Romano M (2009) Histological findings of the internal inguinal ring in patients having indirect inguinal hernia. Hernia 13(3):259–262CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Penkert G (1998) Nerven-Kompressions-Syndrome—Teil 1. Chirurg 69:1114–1122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kincaid JC, Stewart JD (1999) Focal peripheral neuropathies. J Clin Neuromuscul Dis 1(2):113CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kanchiku T, Taguchi T, Kaneko K, Yonemura H, Kawai S, Gondo T (2001) A new rabbit model for the study on cervical compressive myelopathy. J Orthop Res 19(4):605–613CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Amato
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. Ober
    • 2
  • G. Romano
    • 1
  • G. Salamone
    • 1
  • A. Agrusa
    • 1
  • G. Gulotta
    • 1
  • R. Bussani
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of General Surgery, Urgency, and Organ TransplantationUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Pathological Anatomy and HistologyUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly

Personalised recommendations