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ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2020-06-09
Submitted: 2020-04-21
Accepted: 2020-06-07
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Computer-assisted measurements of the histological structure of the tibial nerve and its terminal branches

Ł. Warchol, J. A. Walocha, E. Mizia, H. Liszka, M. Bonczar, I. Zamojska
DOI: 10.5603/FM.a2020.0068
·
Pubmed: 32639574

open access

Ahead of Print
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2020-06-09
Submitted: 2020-04-21
Accepted: 2020-06-07

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to analyze the histological structure (cross-sectional area (CSA) and number of nerve bundles) of the distal part of the tibial nerve and its terminal branches (medial plantar nerve, lateral plantar nerve) using computer assisted image analysis.

Materials and methods: The tibial nerve with distal branches (medial and lateral plantar nerves) were dissected from the fresh cadavers. Each nerve was harvested 5 mm proximally and respectively 5 mm distally from the tibial nerve bifurcation, marked, dehydrated, embedded in paraffin, sectioned at 2 µm slices and stained with haematoxylin and eosin. Then photographed and analyzed using Olympus cellSens software.

Results: The studied group comprised 28 female and 32 male feet (mean age 68.1 ± 15.2 years). The mean CSA and the number of nerve bundles were respectively 17.86 ± 4.57 mm2, 33.88 ± 6.31 for the tibial nerve, 9.58 ± 1.95 mm2, 23.41 ± 7.37 for the medial plantar nerve and 7.17 ± 2.36 mm2, 15.06 ± 5.81 for the lateral plantar nerve in males and 12.27 ± 2.45 mm2, 26.32 ± 8.87 for the tibial nerve, 7.81 ± 1.41 mm2, 17.71 ± 5.28 for the medial plantar nerve and 5.83 ± 1.25 mm2, 11.50 ± 3.72 for the lateral plantar nerve in females. Both CSA and number of nerve bundles of the tibial, medial plantar and lateral plantar nerves revealed no statistical differences when comparing foot side of the individual. The statistical difference was related to the gender showing significant bigger CSA and number of nerve bundles in males (CSA: p = 0.000, p = 0.000, p = 0.016; number of nerve bundles p = 0.01, p = 0.003, p = 0.004 respectively). A positive correlation was found between the donors age and the tibial nerve CSA (r = 0.44, p = 0.000). A significant statistical difference was found between the medial and lateral plantar nerves both in CSA and number of nerve bundles ( p < 0.001, p < 0.001 respectively).

Conclusions: The CSA and the number of nerve bundles in the distal part of the tibial nerve and its branches are significantly bigger in males with no differences between right and left foot of the individual. The tibial nerve shows increasing CSA with advanced age. The medial plantar nerve has larger CSA and more nerve bundles than the lateral plantar nerve.

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to analyze the histological structure (cross-sectional area (CSA) and number of nerve bundles) of the distal part of the tibial nerve and its terminal branches (medial plantar nerve, lateral plantar nerve) using computer assisted image analysis.

Materials and methods: The tibial nerve with distal branches (medial and lateral plantar nerves) were dissected from the fresh cadavers. Each nerve was harvested 5 mm proximally and respectively 5 mm distally from the tibial nerve bifurcation, marked, dehydrated, embedded in paraffin, sectioned at 2 µm slices and stained with haematoxylin and eosin. Then photographed and analyzed using Olympus cellSens software.

Results: The studied group comprised 28 female and 32 male feet (mean age 68.1 ± 15.2 years). The mean CSA and the number of nerve bundles were respectively 17.86 ± 4.57 mm2, 33.88 ± 6.31 for the tibial nerve, 9.58 ± 1.95 mm2, 23.41 ± 7.37 for the medial plantar nerve and 7.17 ± 2.36 mm2, 15.06 ± 5.81 for the lateral plantar nerve in males and 12.27 ± 2.45 mm2, 26.32 ± 8.87 for the tibial nerve, 7.81 ± 1.41 mm2, 17.71 ± 5.28 for the medial plantar nerve and 5.83 ± 1.25 mm2, 11.50 ± 3.72 for the lateral plantar nerve in females. Both CSA and number of nerve bundles of the tibial, medial plantar and lateral plantar nerves revealed no statistical differences when comparing foot side of the individual. The statistical difference was related to the gender showing significant bigger CSA and number of nerve bundles in males (CSA: p = 0.000, p = 0.000, p = 0.016; number of nerve bundles p = 0.01, p = 0.003, p = 0.004 respectively). A positive correlation was found between the donors age and the tibial nerve CSA (r = 0.44, p = 0.000). A significant statistical difference was found between the medial and lateral plantar nerves both in CSA and number of nerve bundles ( p < 0.001, p < 0.001 respectively).

Conclusions: The CSA and the number of nerve bundles in the distal part of the tibial nerve and its branches are significantly bigger in males with no differences between right and left foot of the individual. The tibial nerve shows increasing CSA with advanced age. The medial plantar nerve has larger CSA and more nerve bundles than the lateral plantar nerve.

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Keywords

tibial nerve, cross-sectional area, nerve bundles, medial and lateral plantar nerves, computer-assisted image analysis, histology

About this article
Title

Computer-assisted measurements of the histological structure of the tibial nerve and its terminal branches

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Ahead of Print

Published online

2020-06-09

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2020.0068

Pubmed

32639574

Keywords

tibial nerve
cross-sectional area
nerve bundles
medial and lateral plantar nerves
computer-assisted image analysis
histology

Authors

Ł. Warchol
J. A. Walocha
E. Mizia
H. Liszka
M. Bonczar
I. Zamojska

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