Correlation of computed tomography with histology in the assessment of periprosthetic defect healing

Stephen D. Cook, Laura P. Patron, Samantha L. Salkeld, Kirk E. Smith, Bruce Whiting, Robert L. Barrack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Computed tomography (CT) may more accurately assess the healing of grafted osteolytic lesions around acetabular components compared with plain radiographs, although clinical validation is lacking. To determine whether clinical or micro-CT imaging could assess accurately the grafted lesion compared with histology, we therefore quantified bone healing and ingrowth to determine an effective rhBMP-2 dose and ratio to allograft bone when grafted adjacent to a cementless porous-coated component. We grafted surgically created acetabular defects in canines (n = 20) before uncemented total hip arthroplasty. At 6 weeks, embedded acetabula were imaged and the CT slice images matched to histology section images. The percentage of bone in the defect and growth into the porous surface was assessed quantitatively. Low-dose rhBMP-2 with allograft (1:5 ratio) resulted in a higher percentage of defect healing (43.8%) than rhBMP-2 alone (29.2%) and a higher percentage of bone ingrowth (15.7%) than allograft bone alone (1.1%) as measured by histology. Micro-CT measurements were similar to histologic measurements of defect healing, whereas clinical CT overestimated periprosthetic bone by 38%. Neither clinical CT nor micro-CT techniques are adequate for assessing ingrowth or the bone-implant interface with metal artifacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3213-3220
Number of pages8
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009


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