Objectives: To (1) describe vascular distribution in the grossly intact canine cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) using immunohistochemical techniques specific to 2 components of blood vessels (factor VIII for endothelial cells, laminin for basement membrane); and (2) compare the vascularity in different areas of interest (craniomedial versus caudolateral bands; core versus epiligamentous regions; and proximal versus middle versus distal portions) in the intact normal canine CCL.
Study Design: In vitro study.
Animals: Large, mature dogs (n=7) of breeds prone to CCL disease that were euthanatized for nonorthopedic conditions.
Methods: Intact CCL were collected from fresh canine cadavers free from stifle pathology. CCL tissue was processed for immunohistochemistry and stained for factor VIII and laminin. Vascular density was determined by histomorphometric analysis.
Results: Specific vascular staining was sparsely identified throughout the CCL; however, the proximal portion of the CCL appears to have a greater number of vessels than the middle or distal portion of the ligament.
Conclusions: The CCL is a hypovascular tissue and its vascular distribution is not homogeneous.