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Ex vivo investigation of the use of hydrothermal energy to induce chondrocyte necrosis in articular cartilage of the metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints of horses

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  • 1 Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.
  • | 2 Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 3 Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Department of Medical, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.
  • | 5 Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Department of Medical, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706.
  • | 6 Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of hydrothermal ablation of articular cartilage for arthrodesis in horses through investigation of the effects of joint lavage with physiologic saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (80°C) for various treatment times on chondrocyte viability in the articular cartilage of the metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints of cadaveric horse limbs.

Sample Population—7 pairs of metacarpophalangeal and 8 pairs of metatarsophalangeal joints from 8 Thoroughbreds.

Procedure—The horses were euthanatized for reasons unrelated to musculoskeletal disease. On a random basis, 1 joint of each pair underwent intra-articular lavage for 5, 10, or 15 minutes with heated saline solution (80°C); the other joint underwent sham treatment of similar duration with saline solution at 22°C (control). Cartilage samples from the distal articular surface of metacarpus III (or metatarsus III), the proximal surface of the proximal phalanx, and the lateral and medial proximal sesamoid bones were assessed for chondrocyte viability via confocal microscopy and viability staining following enzymatic digestion.

Results—Compared with the control joints, findings of both viability assays indicated that the percentage of sites containing viable chondrocytes in heat-treated joints was decreased. Treatment hazard ratios of 0.048 (confocal microscopy) and 0.2 (digestion assay) were estimated. Histologically, periarticular soft tissues had minimal detrimental effects after heat treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ex vivo intraarticular lavage with saline solution at 80°C resulted in the death of almost all articular chondrocytes in the joint. This technique may be a satisfactory method for extensive cartilage ablation when performing arthrodesis by minimally invasive techniques. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:36–42)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of hydrothermal ablation of articular cartilage for arthrodesis in horses through investigation of the effects of joint lavage with physiologic saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (80°C) for various treatment times on chondrocyte viability in the articular cartilage of the metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints of cadaveric horse limbs.

Sample Population—7 pairs of metacarpophalangeal and 8 pairs of metatarsophalangeal joints from 8 Thoroughbreds.

Procedure—The horses were euthanatized for reasons unrelated to musculoskeletal disease. On a random basis, 1 joint of each pair underwent intra-articular lavage for 5, 10, or 15 minutes with heated saline solution (80°C); the other joint underwent sham treatment of similar duration with saline solution at 22°C (control). Cartilage samples from the distal articular surface of metacarpus III (or metatarsus III), the proximal surface of the proximal phalanx, and the lateral and medial proximal sesamoid bones were assessed for chondrocyte viability via confocal microscopy and viability staining following enzymatic digestion.

Results—Compared with the control joints, findings of both viability assays indicated that the percentage of sites containing viable chondrocytes in heat-treated joints was decreased. Treatment hazard ratios of 0.048 (confocal microscopy) and 0.2 (digestion assay) were estimated. Histologically, periarticular soft tissues had minimal detrimental effects after heat treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ex vivo intraarticular lavage with saline solution at 80°C resulted in the death of almost all articular chondrocytes in the joint. This technique may be a satisfactory method for extensive cartilage ablation when performing arthrodesis by minimally invasive techniques. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:36–42)