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Meniscus transplantation in the rabbit knee joint using a deep frozen meniscus allograft-pathohistologi- cal picture

Author(s): Lešić Aleksandar | Savić V. | Krstić Nikola | Bumbaširević Marko | Tatić Vujadin

Journal: Acta Veterinaria
ISSN 0567-8315

Volume: 52;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 249;
Date: 2002;
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Keywords: meniscus allograft | transplantation | knee | surgery.

The aim of the study was to assess the clinical, radiological and histological characteristics of deep frozen meniscal allograft for the rabbit knee. Eighteen (18) New Zealand white rabbits were operated on both knees and evaluated at three time intervals: after 2 weeks (first group), 8 weeks (second group) and 36 weeks (third group). Left knees without meniscal transplantation, served as the controls. Meniscal grafts obtained from other rabbits were stored in a deep freeze at -17 °C when required deep frozen menisci were thawed in sterile saline and transplanted in the place of the removed right medial meniscus of the experimental animal. The general condition, operated knees and X-ray pictures were monitored. After sacrifice the meniscal allografts were histologically analyzed. There were no adverse clinical and radiological pathological findings after transplantation, while in the control group changes were noted. At histological evaluation, 2 weeks after transplantation the collagen fibers were not oriented and there was a low cell population. Vascularity was observed in the second group, with cell repopulation and young immature collagen fibers. In the third group at 36 weeks the collagen tissue was more mature, with significant cell repopulation. We may conclude that deep frozen meniscal allografts show significant collagen remodeling and cellular repopulation. New menisci protect the underlying cartilage. Thus this procedure appears beneficial in cases where there is no possibility to reconstruct the meniscal lesion.
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