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ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2020-08-07
Submitted: 2020-06-07
Accepted: 2020-07-28
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Comparison of the histological structure of the tibial nerve and its terminal branches in the fresh and fresh-frozen cadavers

Ł. Warchol, J. A. Walocha, E. Mizia, H. Liszka, M. Bonczar
DOI: 10.5603/FM.a2020.0088
·
Pubmed: 32789845

open access

Ahead of Print
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2020-08-07
Submitted: 2020-06-07
Accepted: 2020-07-28

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to compare the histological structure (cross-sectional area (CSA) and number of nerve fascicles) of the distal part of the tibial nerve (TN) and its terminal branches (medial plantar nerve [MPN], lateral plantar nerve [LPN]) in the fresh and fresh-frozen cadavers using computer assisted image analysis.

Materials and methods: The tibial nerve with terminal branches (medial and lateral plantar nerves) were dissected from the fresh and fresh-frozen 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 the specimens were photographed and analyzed using Olympus cellSens software.

Results: The fresh cadavers group comprised 60 feet (mean age 68.1 ± 15.2 years). The mean CSA and the number of nerve fascicles were respectively 15.25 ± 4.6 mm2, 30.35 ± 8.45 for the tibial nerve, 8.76 ± 1.93 mm2, 20.75 ± 7.04 for the medial plantar nerve and 6.54 ± 2.02 mm2, 13.40 ± 5.22 for the lateral plantar nerve. The fresh-frozen cadavers group comprised 21 feet (mean age 75.1 ± 9.0 years). The mean CSA and the number of nerve fascicles were respectively 13.71 ± 5.66 mm2, 28.57 ± 8.00 for the tibial nerve, 7.55 ± 3.25 mm2, 18.00 ± 6.72 for the medial plantar nerve and 4.29 ± 1.93 mm2, 11.33 ± 1.93 for the lateral plantar nerve. Only lateral plantar nerves showed statistical differences in the CSA and the number of nerve fascicles between examined groups (p = 0.000, p = 0.037 respectively). A positive correlation was found between donors age and tibial nerve CSA in the fresh cadavers group (r = 0.44, p = 0.000). A statistical difference was found between the medial and lateral plantar nerves both in the CSA and the number of nerve fascicles ( p < 0.001, p < 0.001 respectively).

Conclusions: The CSA and the number of nerve fascicles of the tibial and medial plantar nerves were similar in the fresh and fresh-frozen cadavers whilst different in the lateral plantar nerve. The tibial nerve showed increasing CSA with the advanced age in the fresh cadavers. The medial plantar nerve had larger CSA and more nerve fascicles than the lateral plantar nerve.

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to compare the histological structure (cross-sectional area (CSA) and number of nerve fascicles) of the distal part of the tibial nerve (TN) and its terminal branches (medial plantar nerve [MPN], lateral plantar nerve [LPN]) in the fresh and fresh-frozen cadavers using computer assisted image analysis.

Materials and methods: The tibial nerve with terminal branches (medial and lateral plantar nerves) were dissected from the fresh and fresh-frozen 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 the specimens were photographed and analyzed using Olympus cellSens software.

Results: The fresh cadavers group comprised 60 feet (mean age 68.1 ± 15.2 years). The mean CSA and the number of nerve fascicles were respectively 15.25 ± 4.6 mm2, 30.35 ± 8.45 for the tibial nerve, 8.76 ± 1.93 mm2, 20.75 ± 7.04 for the medial plantar nerve and 6.54 ± 2.02 mm2, 13.40 ± 5.22 for the lateral plantar nerve. The fresh-frozen cadavers group comprised 21 feet (mean age 75.1 ± 9.0 years). The mean CSA and the number of nerve fascicles were respectively 13.71 ± 5.66 mm2, 28.57 ± 8.00 for the tibial nerve, 7.55 ± 3.25 mm2, 18.00 ± 6.72 for the medial plantar nerve and 4.29 ± 1.93 mm2, 11.33 ± 1.93 for the lateral plantar nerve. Only lateral plantar nerves showed statistical differences in the CSA and the number of nerve fascicles between examined groups (p = 0.000, p = 0.037 respectively). A positive correlation was found between donors age and tibial nerve CSA in the fresh cadavers group (r = 0.44, p = 0.000). A statistical difference was found between the medial and lateral plantar nerves both in the CSA and the number of nerve fascicles ( p < 0.001, p < 0.001 respectively).

Conclusions: The CSA and the number of nerve fascicles of the tibial and medial plantar nerves were similar in the fresh and fresh-frozen cadavers whilst different in the lateral plantar nerve. The tibial nerve showed increasing CSA with the advanced age in the fresh cadavers. The medial plantar nerve had larger CSA and more nerve fascicles than the lateral plantar nerve.

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Keywords

tibial nerve, cross-sectional area, medial and lateral plantar nerves, fresh cadavers, fresh-frozen cadavers

About this article
Title

Comparison of the histological structure of the tibial nerve and its terminal branches in the fresh and fresh-frozen cadavers

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Ahead of Print

Published online

2020-08-07

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2020.0088

Pubmed

32789845

Keywords

tibial nerve
cross-sectional area
medial and lateral plantar nerves
fresh cadavers
fresh-frozen cadavers

Authors

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

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