Objective—To evaluate the quantitative inheritance of secondary hip joint osteoarthritis in a canine pedigree.
Animals—137 Labrador Retrievers, Greyhounds, and mixed-breed dogs.
Procedures—Necropsy scores ranging from 0 to 4 were obtained for each hip joint. Seven unaffected Greyhounds with normal hip joint conformation were also used for genetic modeling, but were not euthanized. Sixty-six male and 71 female dogs were allocated to 2 groups (≤ 12 months of age and > 12 months of age). Statistical models were developed to establish the inheritance pattern of hip joint osteoarthritis that developed secondary to hip dysplasia.
Results—62 dogs had evidence of osteoarthritis in a hip joint, and 75 had no evidence of osteoarthritis. After sex was adjusted for, the necropsy score was found to be inherited additively but without dominance. Each Labrador Retriever allele increased the necropsy score by 0.7 to 0.9 points, compared with the Greyhound allele, and male sex increased the necropsy score 0.74 over female sex. Approximately 10% of the variation in necropsy score was attributable to the litter of puppies' origin.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Because secondary hip joint osteoarthritis is inherited additively, selection pressure could be applied to reduce its incidence. Similar statistical models can be used in linkage and association mapping to detect the genes in the underlying quantitative trait loci that contribute to hip joint osteoarthritis.
Procedure—Computed tomography (CT) of the pelvis, including a bone-density phantom, was performed for each dog. Centrally located transverse CT slices and a computer workstation were used to identify 16 regions of interest (ROIs) in the proximal portion of the femur. For each ROI, the mean Hounsfield unit value was recorded; by use of the bone-density phantom and linear regression analysis, those values were converted to equivalent BMD (eBMD). Mean eBMD values for the subchondral and nonsubchondral ROIs in dogs with and without osteoarthritis (determined at necropsy) were compared. A mixed-model ANOVA and post hoc linear contrasts were used to evaluate the effects of osteoarthritis, breed, and sex on the BMD value.
Results—At necropsy, osteoarthritis was detected in 14 hip joints in 9 dogs; all lesions included early cartilage fibrillation. After adjusting for breed and sex, eBMD in subchondral ROIs 8 and 12 (adjacent to the fovea) were 8% and 6% higher, respectively, in osteoarthritis-affected dogs, compared with unaffected dogs; in the nonsubchondral ROIs, eBMD was 10% higher in osteoarthritis-affected dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Compared with findings in unaffected dogs, increased eBMD in hip joints of dogs with early osteoarthritis supports a strong relationship between the subchondral and epiphyseal regions and articular cartilage in the pathogenesis and progression of osteoarthritis.