The fate of cancellous and cortical bone after transplantation of fresh and frozen tissue-antigen-matched and mismatched osteochondral allografts in dogs.

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After implantation, a massive osteochondral allograft cannot be completely protected from the stresses that are produced by weight-bearing, and it is susceptible to collapse during incorporation, revascularization, and substitution. How these processes are affected by disparities between the tissue antigens of the host and the graft remain unclear. To clarify the role of histocompatibility antigen-matching in the incorporation of cancellous and cortical bone, we orthotopically implanted both fresh and cryopreserved dog leukocyte-antigen-matched and mismatched proximal osteochondral radial allografts in beagles. Four groups of beagle dogs were used; they received (1) a dog leukocyte-antigen-mismatched frozen allograft, (2) a dog leukocyte-antigen-mismatched fresh allograft, (3) a dog leukocyte-antigen-matched fresh allograft, or (4) a dog leukocyte-antigen-matched frozen allograft. In twelve dogs, a sham operation was done in the contralateral limb (the first living donor had a sham operation), and in the remaining ten dogs, the proximal part of the contralateral radius was removed and then replaced as an autogenous (control) graft. The animals were given fluorochromes periodically, and they were killed eleven months after the operation. The osseous portion of the grafts was evaluated radiographically, biomechanically, and histomorphometrically. No dog had grossly obvious clinical abnormalities, all host-graft interfaces healed, and no joints dislocated. Radiographic examination of the allografts frequently showed deformation of the radial head and variable peripheral resorption. No significant difference in the modulus of elasticity at the host-graft interface was found among the groups. The repair process of the cortical bone was similar for all grafted segments. New periosteal and endosteal bone formed, and the cortical bone became porotic as vessels penetrated it. The uptake of fluorochrome was the most active in the autogenous grafts and the least active in the fresh antigen-mismatched grafts. The volume of cancellous bone was significantly greater and the trabeculae were thicker in all allografts compared with the bones on which a sham operation had been done and compared with the autogenous grafts. The volume of intertrabecular fibrous connective tissue was directly proportional to the immunogenicity of the allografts, and the percentage of the surface on which bone was forming tended to be inversely proportional to the immunogenicity of the allografts. The grafts were revascularized by the ingrowth of vessels into the intertrabecular spaces; necrotic trabeculae were not penetrated by vessels. This pattern was particularly pronounced in the antigen-mismatched grafts, regardless of whether they were fresh or frozen.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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