1. Department of Orthopedics, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China;
2. Department of Orthopedics, General Hospital of Chengdu Military Region, Chengdu, China;
3. School of Stomatology, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.
* These authors have contributed equally to this paper and are co-first authors.
There is no consensus on how to establish models of osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) in large mammals. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a novel canine model of ONFH, induced by a navigated injection of absolute ethanol. Using three-dimensional reconstruction and rapid prototyping manufacturing techniques, a new template was designed and processed to navigate the ethanol injection. The femoral heads of 18 adult dogs were injected with ethanol. Macroscopic, X-ray and histological examinations were performed at 3, 6, and 9 weeks after the operation. Further, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and radionuclide scans were performed 6 weeks postoperatively. Three weeks after the operation, the femoral heads showed evidence of osteonecrosis including increasing numbers of empty lacunae, decreased hematopoietic cells, and destroyed adipose tissue in the medullary cavity, which increased in severity at the subsequent follow-up evaluations at 6 and 9 weeks. Fractured trabeculae and fibrous tissue were noted 9 weeks postoperatively. Image analysis also revealed evidence of osteonecrosis, such as several osteopenic areas with sclerotic rims on the X-ray, several areas of low bone mineral density with sclerosis on the CT scan, increased uptake of the nuclide species in MRI, and an inhomogeneous long T2 signal on the radioisotopic images. Ethanol injection navigated by our novel template was successful in establishing a canine model of ONFH. This model can be used to test new treatment modalities for human ONFH.
Keywords: Animal model, Osteonecrosis of the femoral head, Ethanol, Injection, Canine.