Background: Extensive bone defects are still a challenge for reconstructive surgery. Allogenic bones can be an alternative with no donor area morbidity and unlimited amount of tissue. Better results can be achieved after allogenic bone preparation and adding a vascular supply, which can be done along with flap prefabrication. The purpose of this study was to evaluate demineralized/lyophilized and deep-frozen allogenic bones used for flap prefabrication and the tissue expression of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) in these bone fragments.
Methods: Fifty-six Wistar rat bone diaphyses were prepared and distributed in 4 groups: demineralized/lyophilized (experimental group 1 and control group 2) and deep freezing (experimental group 3 and control group 4). Two bone segments (one of each group) were implanted in rats to prefabricate flaps using superficial epigastric vessels (experimental groups) or only transferred as grafts (control groups). These fragments remained in their respective inguinal regions until the death that occurred at 2, 4, and 6 weeks after the operation. Semiquantitative histologic (tetracycline marking, cortical resorption, number of giant cells, and vascularization) and histomorphometrical quantitative (osteoid thickness, cortical thickness, and fibrosis thickness) analyses were performed. Transforming growth factor β immunohistochemistry staining was also performed.
Results: Group 1 fragments presented an osteoid matrix on their external surface in all periods. Cartilage formation and mineralization areas were also noticed. These findings were not observed in group 3 fragments. Group 1 had more mineralization and double tetracycline marks, which were almost not seen in group 3. Cortical resorption and the number of giant cells were greater in group 3 in all periods. Vascularization and fibrosis thickness were similar in both experimental groups. Group 1 had more intense TGF-β staining within 2 weeks of study. Nevertheless, from 4 weeks onward, group 3 presented statistically significant stronger staining.
Conclusions: Although there are some differences between the preparation methods of allogenic bone, it is possible to prefabricate flaps with demineralized/lyophilized and deep-frozen bones.