Purpose of reviewThe current review will discuss the current understanding of nerve regeneration in vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA). The success of proximal arm and leg transplants has been hampered by the limitations of nerve regrowth across long distances resulting in poor regeneration and functional recovery. Relevant research in stem-cell therapies to overcome these issues will be reviewed.Recent findingsThe effect of rejection on nerve regeneration in the VCA may be unpredictable and may be quite different for the nerve allograft. The issues that limit functional outcome are likely common to both VCA and proximal nerve injuries or replantation. Stem-cell therapies have focused on augmenting Schwann cell function and appear promising.SummaryA better understanding of the effects of transplant rejection on nerve regeneration and function, as well as the factors that affect regeneration over long distances may inform further therapeutic approaches for improvement.
- Schwann cell
- nerve allograft
- peripheral nerve regeneration
- stem cell
- vascularized composite allotransplantation