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Journal of the Korean Society for Surgery of the Hand 2000;9(2):139-146.
Published online November 30, 2000.
Effects of Intramedullary Vascularized Muscle Flap in Regeneration of Lyophilized, Autografted Humeral Head in Rabbits
Seung-Koo Rhee, M.D., Sung-Tae Kim, M.D., Jin-Il Park, M.D.
골수강내 혈관성 근피판 이식이 동결 건조후 자가 이식된 관절연골의 재생에 미치는 효과
  The aim of this study was to assess whether the functional regeneration of a lyophilized autografted cartilage could be improved by implanting a vascularized muscle flap into the medullary canal of autografted proximal humerus.
  A hemijoint reconstruction using a lyophilized osteochondral autograft in proximal humerus was done in 4 rabbits for control, and combined with an vascularized intramedullary muscle flap in another 4 rabbits for the experimental group. Graft healing and the repair process of osteochondral graft were followed by serial radiographs and histologic changes for 9 weeks after experiments. Each two rabbits in control and in experimental group on 5th and 9th week after implantation of hemijoint were sacrified.
  The results were as follows:
  1. All of control and experimental froups on 5th week united solidly on osteotomized site radiologically, but their articular cartilages were destroyed more seriously in the control than that in experimental group with muscle flap on 5th and 9th week after experiment...
  2. Histochemically, the cartilage surface are completely destroyed and revealed with severe osteoarthritic changes on all cartilage layers in control, but cartilaginous erosions are mild to moderate and their arthritic changes are also mild with somewhat regeneration of chondrocytes on deep layers more prominetly on 9th week of the experimental group.
  3. The amount of collagen and protenized matrix which was determined by Masson-Trichrome stain was markedly decreased that means the weakness of bony strength and low osteogenic potential in lyophilized cartilage.
  These results suggest that an intramedullary vascularized muscle flap can improve the functional results of lyophilized osteochondral autograft by providing both increased vascularity and populations of mesenchymal cells to initiate new bone formation on osteotomized site as well as the regeneration of deep layers in articular cartilage. In clinical relevances, this lyophilized hemijoint autograft combined with an intramedullary vascularized muscle pedicle graft might be used very effectively for the treatment of malignant long bone tumors to preserve the joint functions, all or partly, and so to replace it with the artificial joint after tumor excision and hemijoint autograft. 
Key Words: Intramedullary vascularized muscle flap, Lyophilization, Autograft
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