Rat sciatic nerves were exposed to injections of methylprednisolone acetate suspension (MPAS), the suspension vehicle without methylprednisolone, a local anesthetic (chloroprocaine 1%), and repeated needle punctures. The nerves were taken for histological study and compared with untreated controls. Nerves treated with the methylprednisolone suspension and its sterile vehicle showed similar incidence and severity of patchy degenerative changes, including demyelination, axonal disorganization, and endoneurial collagen formation. These findings suggest that repeated injections of MPAS near a peripheral nerve may cause nerve damage.
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This project was supported in part by BRSG Grant RR-0537, awarded by the Biomedical Research Grant Program, Division of Research Resources, National Institutes of Health, and the Research Service of the Veterans Administration Hospital; further support was donated by the Upjohn Company, Kalamazoo, Michigan.