Articular cartilage repair was followed for one year in skeletally mature dogs after destabilisation by anterior cruciate ligament transection of the stifle joint (CT), abrasion of the inferior medial condyle (ABR) to bleeding bone, or anterior cruciate transection followed by chondral abrasion (CT/ABR). ABR animals formed repair cartilage at the abrasion site (ABR and CT/ABR) at six months as determined by arthroscopy and at necropsy. CT and CT/ABR animals had an additional cartilage ulcer on the superior aspect of the medial condyle. The abraded site extended in CT/ABR condyles. Repair cartilage (ABR and CT/ABR) contained reduced amounts of proteoglycan as seen by histological loss of safranin O staining and reduced uronic acid content. Fibrocartilage was suggested by histological appearance, hypocellularity, and a higher hydroxyproline content. In contrast with ABR animals, the repair cartilage in the CT/ABR animals contained near normal amounts of hydroxyproline. Collagen profiles of abrasion site repair cartilage in ABR animals had more types I and V collagens, similar amounts of type VI collagen, and decreased amounts of types II, IX, and XI collagens than CT/ABR animals. The results of this study are consistent with abrasion chondroplasty leading to a repair cartilage. Despite extended ulcers, repair cartilage from the destabilised joint (CT/ABR) animals was more hyaline-like in its hydroxyproline content and collagen composition than repair cartilage from the stable joint (ABR animals). In these models additional measures appear to be needed as the defects induced by abrasion chondroplasty did not form a functional hyaline cartilage.
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