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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1993 Sep 1;18(11):1425-32.

Autologous nucleus pulposus induces neurophysiologic and histologic changes in porcine cauda equina nerve roots.

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Department of Orthopaedics, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgren Hospital, Sweden.


Epidural application of autologous nucleus pulposus in pigs, without mechanical nerve root compression, induced a pronounced reduction in nerve conduction velocity in the cauda equina nerve roots after 1-7 days, compared to epidural application of retroperitoneal fat in control experiments. Histologically, the nerve fiber injury was more pronounced after application of nucleus pulposus than after control tissue application. The results demonstrate that nucleus pulposus may induce nerve tissue injury by mechanisms other than mechanical compression. Such mechanisms may be based on direct biochemical effects of nucleus pulposus components on nerve fiber structure and function and microvascular changes including inflammatory reactions in the nerve roots.

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