Clinical and anatomical approach using Sihler's staining technique (whole mount nerve stain).
Sung-Yoon Won ; Da-Hye Kim ; Hee-Jin Kim ; Kyung-Seok Hu ; Hyun-Ho Kwak ; Jong-Tae Park ; Hun-Mu Yang
Anatomy and Cell Biology, Vol.44(1) : 1~7, 2011
Anatomy and Cell Biology
Sihler's staining allows visualization of the nerve distribution within soft tissues without extensive dissection and does not require slide preparation, unlike traditional approaches. This technique can be applied to the mucosa, muscle, and organs that contain myelinated nerve fibers. In particular, Sihler's technique may be considered the best tool for observing nerve distribution within skeletal muscles. The intramuscular distribution pattern of nerves is difficult to observe through manual manipulation due to the gradual tapering of nerves toward the terminal end of muscles, so it should be accompanied by histological studies to establish the finer branches therein. This method provides useful information not only for anatomists but also for physiologists and clinicians. Advanced knowledge of the nerve distribution patterns will be useful for developing guidelines for clinicians who perform operations such as muscle resection, tendon transplantation, and botulinum toxin injection. Furthermore, it is a useful technique to develop neurosurgical techniques and perform electrophysiological experiments. In this review, Sihler's staining technique is described in detail, covering its history, staining protocol, advantages, disadvantages, and possible applications. The application of this technique for determining the arterial distribution pattern is also described additionally in this study.