The horse joint, due to its similarity with the human joint, is the ultimate model for translational articular cartilage repair studies. This study was designed to determine the critical size of cartilage defects in the equine carpus and serve as a benchmark for the evaluation of new cartilage treatment options. Circular full-thickness cartilage defects with a diameter of 2, 4, and 8 mm were created in the left middle carpal joint and similar osteochondral (3.5 mm in depth) defects in the right middle carpal joint of 5 horses. Spontaneously formed repair tissue was examined macroscopically, with MR and µCT imaging, polarized light microscopy, standard histology, and immunohistochemistry at 12 months. Filling of 2 mm chondral defects was good (77.8 ± 8.5%), but proteoglycan depletion was evident in Safranin-O staining and gadolinium-enhanced MRI (T We recommend classifying 4 mm as critical osteochondral lesion size and 2 mm as critical chondral lesion size for cartilage repair research in the equine carpal joint model.
University College Dublin ->