Replacement of the anterior cruciate ligament a comparison of autografts and allografts in dogs

Eric Thorson, Juan J. Rodrigo, Philip Vasseur, Neil Sharkey, David Heitter

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36 Scopus citations


To compare the efficacy of allograft versus autograft replacement of the anterior cruciate ligament, 15 dogs had the ligament cut and replaced 1 month later:11 dogs received a frozen bone-ligament-bone allograft cruciate ligament, while 4 dogs received a standard autogenous replacement with iliotibial band. Three of 11 allograft dogs developed postoperative infections and were removed from the study; and two of the remaining eight allograft ligaments were absent at autopsy. All the autograft ligaments were present. from serial clinical and radiographic examinations, there were no differences observed in the two groups. Autopsy studies at 4 months, however, showed an increased inflammatory, pannus-like reaction about the origins and insertions of the six allograft ligaments as compared with the four autografts. the ligament hydroxyproline uptake was lower in the allograft group, averaging 60 percent of the contralateral unoperated on control versus equal to the control in the autograft group. the tensile strength of the allografts reached only 17 percent of the control value versus 41 percent for the autografts. Lymphocytotoxicity testing at 1 month revealed a donor-specific antibody response in 4 of 8 allograft dogs; however, no histologic evidence of immune response was observed in the ligaments. the synovial fluid leukocyte count was elevated in the allograft group at 4 months. the increased synovial leukocyte counts and joint cartilage erosion, the decreased strength and metabolic activity of the grafts, and the evidence of an immune response in the allograft dogs do not support implantation of cadaver cruciate ligaments clinically at this time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-560
Number of pages6
JournalActa Orthopaedica
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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