Author(s): Milka Gardašević, Miloš Živić, Dragan Djurdjević, Aleksandra Petković-Ćurčin
Keywords:nerve injury, facial nerve, experimental models, surgical repair
The facial nerve is the main motor nerve that activates the mimic musculature of the face. Nerve tree injuries lead to paralysis of the same half of the face. In addition to functional damage in the form of difficulty in chewing, speaking and closing the eyes, paresis is the cause of pronounced emotional and social problems in patients. The etiology of facial nerve damage is diverse, including trauma, neurological, infectious, metabolic, vascular, neoplastic processes, as well as idiopathic and iatrogenic. Of special importance to us are iatrogenic injuries of the transcranial part of the facial nerve, which most often occur as part of surgical interventions in the area of the parotid lodge, where the nerve itself branches into its final branches that innervate facial muscles. A high degree of iatrogenic damage over 40% requires the timely application of adequate techniques and materials for the purpose of neuroregeneration. Considering the delicacy of the function of the facial nerve and the consequences of its damage, previous methods described in some studies, used in the regeneration process are based on the summarized results of experimental studies on different animal models. A prerequisite for the success of an experimental study is certainly the anatomical compatibility of experimental animals and humans. Based on the analyzed research, in the last decade rats were used the most, which can be linked to acceptable maintenance costs. Nevertheless, rabbits represent an ideal experimental model due to their anatomical and functional similarities with humans, in which it is possible to successfully simulate paralysis of the facial nerve and monitor the recovery of mimic musculature using the method of movement visualization and electromyography.
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