Three-dimensional reconstruction and visualization of the median nerve from serial tissue sections.Microsurgery. 2009; 29(7):573-7.M
The purpose of this study was to definitively implement the three-dimensional visualization of sensory and motor fascicles in the human median nerve by means of acetylcholinesterase (AChe) histochemical staining and under the assistance of the computer technology. One fresh human median nerve was harvested from a male adult cadaver. The median nerve was fixed at a special holder. Then, the whole holder was embedded and rapidly frozen in the liquid nitrogen. The processed median nerve was then cut coronally every 100 microm at a 20 microm thickness along its long axis in a sliding freezing microtome. The total number of sections was 4,650 slices. All sections were stained with the AChe histochemical method. The stained sections were scanned and saved as Joint Photographic Experts Group files. These images with positively and negatively stained sections were acquired to an Intel dual Pentium computer. The Adobe Photoshop CS2 software was used to compare the reference points of images before and after staining. The two-dimensional intraneural microstructure database of median nerve was then acquired. A software of 3D nerve visualization system was developed. With the 3D nerve visualization system, the 3D visualization result of intraneural microstructure of median nerve was created. The findings may provide more accurate and detailed anatomic information for nerve repairs, specifically for the fascicular nerve repairs. The 3D nerve visualization technique may have potential for future studies of topography of peripheral nerve. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Microsurgery, 2009.