• bone repair;
  • bovine bone;
  • critical-size defect


Objective: To evaluate the repair of critical-size bone defects in rats treated with demineralized bovine bone (DBB) compared with autogenous bone (AB).

Material and method: A bone defect of 8 mm in diameter was created in the calvaria of 50 Rattus norvegicus, treated either with DBB or AB. Sub-groups of five rats of each group were killed at 7, 14, 21, 30 and 90 days post-operatively, and the skulls were removed and processed histologically. Histological sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin.

Result: Histological analysis showed complete closure of the defects with new bone at 90 days in group AB, and substitution of the biomaterial by fibrotic connective tissue in the DBB group at 21 days. Morphometric analysis showed that DBB was rapidly absorbed at 14 days, with its volume density decreasing from 47%±0.8% at 7 days to 1.2%±0.41% at 14 days. Subsequently, volume densities of the connective tissue and neoformed bone increased from 51.1%±11.17% to 86.8%±7.92% and from 1.9%±1.13% to 12%±8.02%, respectively, for the same time interval. The volume density of AB particles did not change throughout the experimental periods, but the amount of new bone increased markedly between 7 and 90 days, from 4.5%±1.57% to 53.5%±6.42% (P<0.05).

Conclusion: DBB did not provide complete repair of the defects, with significantly less new bone formation than in the AB group.