Jens Randel Nyengaard

Calcified cartilage in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip compared to that of healthy subjects. A design-based histological study

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Objective: Calcified cartilage is suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA) by facilitating endochondral ossification at the bone-cartilage unit. Therefore, the objective was to quantify the volume and surface area of the calcified cartilage in the femoral head in OA patients and healthy subjects. Materials and methods: We used design-based stereological principles, i.e., systematic uniform random sampling and vertical uniform random sections of the entire femoral head. We investigated the articular and calcified cartilage and femoral head surface area and volume, excluding fovea capitis and marginal osteophytes, in 20 patients with OA and 15 healthy subjects. Results: The volume of the calcified cartilage was significantly larger for the patients with OA compared with the healthy subjects (mean difference [95% CI]) (284 [110,457] mm3, p = 0.002). The upper and lower surface area of the calcified cartilage, i.e. the tidemark and cement line, were both significantly larger for OA patients compared with the healthy subjects (17.8 [8.4,27.3] cm2, p < 0.001) and (38.7 [20.8,56.7] cm2, p = 0.002), respectively. The volume of the calcified cartilage and the volume of the femoral head were significantly correlated for the patients with OA (Spearman's ρ = 0.51, p = 0.021), but not for the healthy subjects (ρ = 0.41, p = 0.123). Conclusions: Patients with OA had a larger femoral head surface area and more calcified cartilage compared to healthy subjects. The volume of the calcified cartilage correlated positively with the volume of the femoral head for patients with OA, but not for healthy subjects. This strongly supports the existing view that bone growth in OA is associated with endochondral ossification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115660
JournalBone
Volume143
Number of pages9
ISSN8756-3282
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

    Research areas

  • Calcified cartilage, Femur head, Histology, Human, Osteoarthritis, Stereology

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