Articular chondrocalcinosis of the humeral head in Greyhounds

J. Carroll Woodard From the Department of Comparative and Experimental Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine (Woodard, Riser); Department of Material Science and Engineering, College of Engineering (Morrone); and Department of Pathology, College of Medicine (Khan), University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

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Wayne H. Riser From the Department of Comparative and Experimental Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine (Woodard, Riser); Department of Material Science and Engineering, College of Engineering (Morrone); and Department of Pathology, College of Medicine (Khan), University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

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Augusto A. Morrone From the Department of Comparative and Experimental Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine (Woodard, Riser); Department of Material Science and Engineering, College of Engineering (Morrone); and Department of Pathology, College of Medicine (Khan), University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

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Saeed R. Khan From the Department of Comparative and Experimental Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine (Woodard, Riser); Department of Material Science and Engineering, College of Engineering (Morrone); and Department of Pathology, College of Medicine (Khan), University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

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SUMMARY

Of 143 Greyhounds necropsied consecutively, 6 (4%) had chondrocalcinosis of the scapulohumeral joint; lesions were identified in 6 additional dogs. Lesions were seen exclusively in the humeral head, mainly in the plateau region. The lesions in the dogs of the initial group were unilateral, but 2 of the 6 additional dogs had bilateral lesions. Focal mineralization of articular cartilage appeared as a white raised nidus, sometimes surrounded by a translucent halo in the opaque cartilage. Circular, small translucent cartilage foci, with or without beginning mineralization, were adjacent to definitive chondrocalcinosis lesions. Chondrocyte necrosis and matrix degradation were considered to antedate appearance of matrical mineral granules; mineralization of the cartilage was considered a secondary process, but not necessarily an epiphenomenon. Scanning electron microscopy indicated that the chondrocalcinosis lesion was composed of deposits of irregularly fused stone material that, in scanning and transmission electron micrographs, was composed of irregular spheroids, 0.05 to 0.5 μm in diameter. The spheroids contained poorly formed needle-like crystals of apatite. Sparse transformation of the mineral phase into hydroxyapatite was considered to be attributable to a biological mechanism that inhibited phase transition. Cartilage degeneration and chondrocalcinosis of the plateau region of the humeral head appear to be unique lesions that develop in young Greyhounds. It is possible that these lesions are the result of the biomechanical stress of training and racing.

SUMMARY

Of 143 Greyhounds necropsied consecutively, 6 (4%) had chondrocalcinosis of the scapulohumeral joint; lesions were identified in 6 additional dogs. Lesions were seen exclusively in the humeral head, mainly in the plateau region. The lesions in the dogs of the initial group were unilateral, but 2 of the 6 additional dogs had bilateral lesions. Focal mineralization of articular cartilage appeared as a white raised nidus, sometimes surrounded by a translucent halo in the opaque cartilage. Circular, small translucent cartilage foci, with or without beginning mineralization, were adjacent to definitive chondrocalcinosis lesions. Chondrocyte necrosis and matrix degradation were considered to antedate appearance of matrical mineral granules; mineralization of the cartilage was considered a secondary process, but not necessarily an epiphenomenon. Scanning electron microscopy indicated that the chondrocalcinosis lesion was composed of deposits of irregularly fused stone material that, in scanning and transmission electron micrographs, was composed of irregular spheroids, 0.05 to 0.5 μm in diameter. The spheroids contained poorly formed needle-like crystals of apatite. Sparse transformation of the mineral phase into hydroxyapatite was considered to be attributable to a biological mechanism that inhibited phase transition. Cartilage degeneration and chondrocalcinosis of the plateau region of the humeral head appear to be unique lesions that develop in young Greyhounds. It is possible that these lesions are the result of the biomechanical stress of training and racing.

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