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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1991 Jul;73(6):832-47.

Early histological and ultrastructural changes in medullary fracture callus.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6081.


Light and electron microscopic studies of early changes in the medullary callus of a fracture of the rib in rabbits revealed the loss of normal architecture of the marrow and the disappearance of blood vessels in the region of high cellular density adjacent to the fibrin clot; the enlargement and transformation of capillary and venous endothelial cells in the region of low cellular density adjacent to the normal, uninjured marrow; the appearance of polymorphic mesenchymal cells throughout the medullary callus; and the appearance of osteoblasts and new-bone formation by twenty-four hours after the fracture. The meaning of these morphological changes is not clear. However, the spatial relationship between the various cells suggests the possibility that the transformed endothelial cells, reticular cells, and polymorphic mesenchymal cells may be interrelated and may either be osteoblast progenitor cells or may in some way lead to the appearance of osteoblasts in the early callus.

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