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Comparative Structural Analysis of the Canine Femoral Head in Legg-Calve'-Perthes Disease

Scherzer C., Windhagen H., Nellesen J., et al.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 2009. 50(4): p.404-411.

The goal of this study was to examine the microarchitecture of the trabecular bone of the canine femoral head using microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) technology. Specifically, we assessed changes seen in the femoral head in dogs with Legg-CalvÈ-Perthes disease and compared this with changes seen in dogs with hip dysplasia and coxofemoral luxation. Femoral heads from healthy animals were examined as a control. In total, 38 femoral heads were studied. Rules for defining spherical volumes (region of interest) for determination of the structural parameters within the trabecular structure were established using micro-CT images. The following parameters were determined directly in three dimensions: bone volume fraction, surface volume fraction, trabecula thickness, trabecular count, trabecular spacing, and connectivity. Characteristic femoral head changes were found for each condition. An unexpected result was found that contradicts the prevailing understanding of Legg-CalvÈ-Perthes disease. Instead of observing a thickening of the bone trabeculae caused by layering of new bone matrix on top of necrotic trabeculae, we observed an increase in trabecular count and a smaller trabecular thickness. From this it may be concluded that trabecular regeneration is more prominent or prevails over the characteristically described layering processes in the revascularization and repair processes occurring in this illness.