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Sensory innervation of normal and hypospadiac prepuce: possible implications in hypospadiology

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Sensory innervation of the skin influences wound healing through the release of neuropeptides from the nerve endings. The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in the sensory innervation of the normal and the hypospadiac prepuce. The prepuce from 10 healthy children undergoing routine circumcision and 10 age-matched children undergoing hypospadias repair were submitted for immunohistochemistry, using antibodies against protein gene product (PGP) 9.5, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and substance P (SP). The hypospadiac prepuce was found to be hypo-innervated for PGP 9.5 and CGRP positive nerves when compared with the normal prepuce (p<0.05). The number of SP-positive nerves were increased in the hypospadiac prepuce, but not to statistical significance (p=0.06, confidence interval >95%). There may be differences in the sensory innervation of the normal and hypospadiac prepuce. These differences in tissue environment may partly explain the postoperative edema, poor wound healing leading to urethrocutaneous fistula (UF), and increased analgesia requirements in patients undergoing hypospadias surgery.

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Correspondence to Zafar Nazir.

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Nazir, Z., Masood, R. & Rehman, R. Sensory innervation of normal and hypospadiac prepuce: possible implications in hypospadiology. Ped Surgery Int 20, 623–627 (2004).

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