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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1989 Jun;(243):254-65.

Autogeneic cancellous bone grafts in extensive segmental ulnar defects in dogs. Effects of xenogeneic bovine bone morphogenetic protein without and with interposition of soft tissues and interruption of blood supply.

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Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles.


Xenogeneic (bovine) bone morphogenetic protein (bBMP) and associated insoluble noncollagenous proteins (NCP) were implanted in inbred adult beagle dogs with 3-4 cm diaphyseal defects in the ulna. Defects were stabilized with internal plate fixation, and the control defects were not stabilized. The defects were implanted with either autogeneic cancellous bone grafts (ACG), bBMP/NCP, or a composite of ACG and bBMP/NCP. Of the plated ulnae, 18 of 19 ACG controls restored bone continuity; six of seven defects healed under the influence of bBMP/NCP plus ACG. Two of four defects with bBMP/NCP plus ACG healed and two were filled with osseous tissue, but fibrous tissue developed at one or both bone ends. Eight of nine defects implanted with bBMP/NCP capsules alone were repaired with fibrous tissue only. Of the nonplated defects, four were implanted with bBMP/NCP plus ACG and only one regenerated; three of four showed hypertrophic bone growth around a pseudarthrosis. Of six nonplated defects implanted with bBMP/NCP without ACG, all developed atrophic bone ends and fibrous tissue repair. Thus, to restore continuity of large segmental defects three times greater than the critical size for spontaneous regeneration, xenogeneic bBMP/NCP failed to induce bone regeneration in dogs. To exclude cell-mediated immune reactions and soft-tissue ingrowth, one defect was bridged with a polytetrafluoroethylene semipermeable tube (pore size 0.45 micron) containing implants of bBMP/NCP. In response to bBMP/NCP, cells from the host bone ends produced ossicles of induced woven bone formation. The observation that bBMP/NCP induced bone formation across the defect inside of semipermeable cylindrical chambers suggests that the experiments on bone defects larger than the critical size for spontaneous repair should be repeated with: (1) allogeneic dog BMP/NCP; (2) semipermeable cylinders to protect against muscle interposition; (3) compartment angiograms to evaluate blood supply; (4) treatment of the recipient with immunosuppressants and immunostaining to observe the concentration gradient of BMP; and (5) histologic observations on the first three days after implantation to evaluate cell-mediated immune barriers to the response of BMP.

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