Early use of artificial sensibility in hand transplantation
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Hands were transplanted from brain-dead donors for the treatment of two male unilateral amputees, aged 35 years and 32 years, involved in the Italian Hand Transplantation Programme. Each had lost his right dominant hand, in a farming accident and an explosion, respectively. In one case artificial sensibility was applied postoperatively using a Sensor Glove that transformed vibrotactile stimuli induced by touch, to stereophonic vibroacoustic stimuli perceived through earphones. The principle is based on the brain's capacity for multimodal plasticity, implying that deprivation of one sense (somatosensory) can be compensated for by another sense (auditory). Functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI) taken at regular intervals showed that cortical remodelling of the transplanted hand within the sensory-motor maps occurred early in the patient who used the artificial sensibility regimen compared with the one who did not. We conclude that postoperative use of a device using hearing as a substitution for sensation in hand transplantation may have considerable potential value for speeding up cortical integration of a transplanted hand.
|Research areas and keywords||
Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY
|Journal||Scandinavian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Hand Surgery|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|