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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 21-26

New frontiers of nerve regeneration in ear, nose, and throat surgery

Core Surgical Training, University Hospitals Birmingham, England, UK

Correspondence Address:
Sofia Anastasiadou
CT2 ENT, University Hospitals Birmingham, Birmingham, England,
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jlv.jlv_20_20

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Nerve injury is common in various specialties. Apart from the traditional end-to-end direct repair in limited nerve injuries, there are many new techniques that are being investigated worldwide. At the moment, synthetic nerve grafts, called scaffolds, made by tissue-friendly materials and covered by different kinds of cells such as Schwann cells or stem cells are being tested. In order to maximize the tissue integration and accelerate the nerve regeneration, various nerve growth factors are being used as well with promising results. Otolaryngology patients will certainly benefit from most of these techniques as facial nerve, recurrent laryngeal nerve, ear hair cells, and other kinds of nerves could be generated using innovative treatments in the future. The aim of this article is to review the main advancements in ear, nose, and throat (ENT) nerve regeneration. A literature review was performed in PubMed and Medline databases using the following keywords: nerve regeneration, neuroregeneration, otolaryngology, ENT, head, and neck. A significant number of articles and reviews were found as well as trials on nerve regeneration in otolaryngology. Many different techniques are being investigated currently in order to regenerate damaged nerves. It is a very complex procedure as it requires axonal regrowth in the correct direction as well as sensory and motor function restoration to full. The gold standard nowadays remains the end-to-end primary repair; nevertheless, there are various other methods with very promising results.

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