Published by Europe PMC

Orgel MGO’Brien WJMurray HM

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 01 Feb 1984, 73(2):173-183


A multidisciplinary approach to the study of peripheral nerve regeneration in the cat has been presented. The purpose of this work has been to determine if pulsing electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy can enhance peripheral nerve regeneration after injury. In equal groups of animals, two types of pulsing electromagnetic field treatment were compared with untreated controls. All animals underwent quantitative electrophysiologic and morphologic assessment at the area of injury. In addition, muscle fiber sizing in the periphery and retrograde labeling of anterior horn motoneurons with horseradish peroxidase were studied. Results have shown no statistical differences between the groups in electrophysiologic or morphologic parameters. However, in animals treated with a pulse-burst electromagnetic field there was a statistically significant improvement in the labeling and localization of anterior horn cells in the central nervous system. These results indicate that pulse-burst electromagnetic radiation can increase the numbers of motor neurons that reestablish appropriate connections to the periphery after nerve injury. It remains to be seen if this improved spinal cord organization can translate to improved peripheral functional return.