This article describes a model of chronic nerve compression in the rat. The sciatic nerve of adult male Sprague Dawley rats was banded with a 1-cm Silastic tube for varying periods of time. Morphometric analysis, electrodiagnostic studies, and histological evaluation were carried out 3, 5, 8, and 12 months after banding. Histological evaluation at 3 months was normal. At 5 months perineurial thickening was demonstrated. In the periphery of the fascicles, segmental demyelination was noted; central fibers appeared normal. At 8 months there was further epineurial and perineurial thickening. Marked thinning of the myelin was noted in the fibers and evidence of Wallerian degeneration was apparent. Progressive connective tissue and nerve fiber changes were noted at 12 months. Nerve conduction studies after 3 months of compression demonstrated an increase in conduction velocity compared to the normal unbanded control nerves. Progressive slowing of conduction velocity was noted from 5 through 12 months.
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