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  • Author or Editor: Dana S. King x
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Objective—To compare effects of synovectomy performed by use of monopolar radiofrequency energy (MRFE) versus mechanical debridement in rabbits with induced inflammatory arthritis.

Animals—25 mature female New Zealand White rabbits.

Procedure—Inflammatory arthritis was induced in both femoropatellar joints of each rabbit. Joints then were treated by mechanical debridement or MRFE treatment or served as sham-operated controls. Rabbits were euthanatized 2 weeks or 3 months after surgery. Biopsy specimens of synovium were analyzed by use of light microscopy.

Results—At 2 weeks after surgery, samples from MRFE-treated joints had fewer plasma cells and more heterophils than the other 2 groups and more lymphocytes than sham-operated controls, whereas samples from mechanically debrided joints had greater numbers of lymphocytes and heterophils than sham-operated controls. At 3 months after surgery, samples from MRFE-treated joints had fewer plasma cells than sham-operated controls, more heterophils than mechanically debrided and sham-operated controls, and more macrophages than mechanically debrided joints. There was no difference in synovial ablation, synovial proliferation, or fibrosis among the 3 groups at 2 weeks or 3 months after surgery.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of results of this study documented a similar degree of synovial ablation when comparing use of MRFE to mechanical debridement. In rabbits with this method of induced inflammatory arthritis, there were no detectable benefits of MRFE or mechanical debridement on the synovium, compared with results for sham-operated control joints, at 2 weeks and 3 months after surgery for most of the synovial variables evaluated. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:573–577)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research