Vessels in cartilage canals supplying the articular-epiphyseal cartilage complex and growth plate of the distal part of the humerus of pigs between on day and 15 weeks old were examined in perfused and cleared specimens, and histochemical preparations. An extensive capillary network surrounded the arterioles and venules and probably maintained the circulation of blood as the ends of the cartilage canals underwent involution. Pits and grooves were in predilection sites for osteochondrosis and osteoarthrosis and were typical of early lesions of these conditions. Some ghosts that were observed mesoscopically were chondrified cartilage canals or remnants of cartilage canals in histological sections, and were considered to be the result of a normal process. However, abnormal involution may predispose to chrondrolysis, and the presence of involuting transverse cartilage canals at predilection sites implicated damaged canals in the aetiopathogenesis of osteochondrosis and osteroarthrosis in some pigs. Cleared specimens provided the most useful demonstration of the form and distribution of cartilage canals, ghosts, and pits or grooves. The association of cartilage canals with areas of chondrolysis, and the distribution of ghosts in the predilection sites for lesions, warrant further investigation of blood vessels within cartilage canals.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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