Effect of basic fibroblast growth factor on the healing of defects in the canine anterior cruciate ligament
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The effect of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) on the healing of partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) lacerations was investigated in 17 adult mongrel canines. The defect was created in the midsubstance of both ACLs using a biopsy punch. In the bFGF group, a bFGF-impregnated pellet was sutured to the infrapatellar fat pad close to the defect. In the control group, the same pellet without bFGF was used. The healing process was evaluated macroscopically and histologically at 1, 3, 6, and 24 weeks postoperatively. In the bFGF group, a pannus-like tissue which contained abundant blood vessels extended into the defect from the adjacent synovial tissue in the early postoperative phase. Histological examination of the tissue which filled the defect revealed initial remodeling processes with a decreased number of cells and better orientation of the collagen fibers at 6–24 weeks. On the other hand, in the control group, poor healing processes were observed at each examination period. This study demonstrated that the application of a bFGF-impregnated pellet may enhance the healing potential of a partially injured ACL. Enhanced neovascularization and the formation of granulation tissue induced by bFGF early in the healing process accounted for the increased healing response.
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