Iron induced arthritis in immature rabbits

Authors

  • Dr. Carl T. Brighton MD PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 316 Johnson Pavilion, 36 St & Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, Pa 19104
    2. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa
    • Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa
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  • Elmer C. Bigley Jr MD,

    1. National Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Hospital National Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Hospital
    2. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa
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  • Benjamin I. Smolenski MD

    1. Resident in Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa.
    2. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa
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Abstract

Intramuscularly administered iron dextran in immature rabbits leads to iron deposition in the articular cartilage chondrocyte followed by lacunar enlargement, the appearance of transverse striations in the matrix, abnormal staining characteristics of the middle layer of cartilage, rounding of the surface chondrocytes, fibrillation and fraying of the cartilage matrix, and death and disappearance of the chondrocytes. Iron deposition also occurs in the synovium and leads to mild thickening with no inflammatory cell reaction. In mature rabbits, iron is deposited in the synovium only, and none of the above cartilage changes occur.

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