A new preclinical femoral head osteonecrosis model in sheep

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IntroductionAnimal models have been used as insight into the pathogenesis of osteonecrosis, even though most have failed to reproduce all stages of human disease, limiting progression in experimental treatment modalities. A new surgically induced animal model of femoral head osteonecrosis in sheep is presented.MethodOsteonecrosis was achieved using an improved method of intracephalic cryogenic lesion by means of a cryoprobe and vascular ligation.ResultsHistologic findings at 6 and 12 weeks showed progression to advanced stage osteonecrosis. MRI, the gold standard in diagnosis and follow-up in human osteonecrosis showed concordant results with histology.ConclusionOur model can therefore be used as a preclinical femoral head osteonecrosis model in an easily accessible animal to assess biological treatments with MRI.

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