The evaluation of peripheral nerve regeneration is of great interest in clinical as well as in experimental situations. However, there are few techniques that give early and quantitative information on the states of the regeneration process. If quantitative assays would be available, different surgical techniques and medications could be evaluated more accurately in relation to axonal ingrowth and functional recovery. The purpose of this study was to investigate the merits of nerve compound action signals (NCASs) recorded electrically and signals recorded with a novel magnetic recording technique. We compared the two techniques in the rabbit peroneal nerve, 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks after a nerve reconstruction. Our conclusions are that the signals recorded with the magnetic sensor are far more reproducible and less prone to stimulus artifact than the electrically recorded signals. Furthermore, the magnetic recording shows that the number of axons that have regenerated increases with time. Previously, this could only be determined with histological studies. Other ingrowth parameters that can be quantified are the average ingrowth distance, and the variation between axons in ingrowth velocity.

electrophysiology, magnetic recording, nerve compound action signals, nerve regeneration, quantitative analysis,
Muscle & Nerve
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Kuypers, P.D.L, Gielen, F.L.H, Wai, R.T.J, Hovius, S.E.R, Godschalk, M, & van Egeraat, J.M. (1993). A comparison of electric and magnetic compound action signals as quantitative assays of peripheral nerve regeneration. Muscle & Nerve, 16(6), 634–641. doi:10.1002/mus.880160609