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J Periodontal Implant Sci. 2010 Aug;40(4):180-7. doi: 10.5051/jpis.2010.40.4.180. Epub 2010 Aug 30.

Spontaneous healing capacity of rabbit cranial defects of various sizes.

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Department of Periodontology, Research Institute for Periodontal Regeneration, Yonsei University College of Dentistry, Seoul, Korea.



This study evaluated the spontaneous healing capacity of surgically produced cranial defects in rabbits with different healing periods in order to determine the critical size defect (CSD) of the rabbit cranium.


Thirty-two New Zealand white rabbits were used in this study. Defects of three sizes (6, 8, and 11 mm) were created in each of 16 randomly selected rabbits, and 15-mm defects were created individually in another 16 rabbits. The defects were analyzed using radiography, histologic analysis, and histometric analysis after the animal was sacrificed at 2, 4, 8, or 12 weeks postoperatively. Four samples were analyzed for each size of defect and each healing period.


The radiographic findings indicated that defect filling gradually increased over time and that smaller defects were covered with a greater amount of radiopaque substance. Bony islands were observed at 8 weeks at the center of the defect in both histologic sections and radiographs. Histometrical values show that it was impossible to determine the precise CSD of the rabbit cranium. However, the innate healing capacity that originates from the defect margin was found to be constant regardless of the defect size.


The results obtained for the spontaneous healing capacity of rabbit cranial defects over time and the underlying factors may provide useful guidelines for the development of a rabbit cranial model for in vivo investigations of new bone materials.


Experimental design; Osseous defect; Wound healing

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