Objective: To investigate the effects of different doses of topical dexamethasone (Dex) on sciatic nerves with simulated compressive neuropathy. Methods: Thirty-two Wistar rats were divided into four groups of 8: Sham group: no compression of the sciatic nerve+no treatment; Saline: chronic compression of the left sciatic nerve for 4 weeks+saline 0.8% Dex: chronic compression+0.8mg of Dex; 3.2% Dex: chronic compression+3.2mg of Dex. Two sponge strips soaked with saline or Dex were placed under and over the nerve for 30 min in both Dex groups. Mixed-nerve-elicited somatosensory evoked potentials (M-SSEPs) and compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) were measured to verify the compressive neuropathy in post-treatment follow-up. Behavioral observations of thermal hyperalgesia tests were quantified before electrophysiological examinations. Treated and contralateral nerves were harvested for histomorphological analysis. Results: M-SSEP and CMAP amplitudes significantly decreased and latencies were significantly prolonged on postcompression thermal hyperalgesia tests. Rats in both Dex groups showed significant improvement in both sensory and motor conductive values and in neurological function, as well as increased mean myelin diameter on the final histomorphological examination. For rats in the saline group, these parameters showed incomplete recovery compared with the Sham group and the precompression baseline. Moreover, the changes after Dex treatment were not dose-dependent. Conclusions: Topical Dex reversed electrophysiological, behavioral, and structural changes in chronically compressed sciatic nerves. Differences between the beneficial effects of high-dose and low-dose Dex were nonsignificant. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine