To what extent does hyaluronic acid affect healing of xenografts? A histomorphometric study in a rabbit model

<div><p>ABSTRACT Among the many graft materials that have been used for the treatment of bone defects in oral and maxillofacial regions is xenograft. To improve osteoconductive effects of xenografts, they have been combined with various biocompatible materials, such as hyaluronic acid and bone morphogenetic protein. Objective: To determine bone-healing capacity of high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HA) combined with xenograft in rabbit calvarial bone defects. Material and methods: Ten adult male New Zealand rabbits (mean weight 3 kg) were included in the study. Three 6-mm-diameter bicortical cranial defects were created on calvarial bone of all rabbits. These defects were filled as follows: a) xenograft; b) HA+xenograft; c) autograft. One month after the first operation, rabbits were sacrificed. Specimens were evaluated histomorphometrically. Results: Considering multiple comparisons, differences regarding new bone were statistically significant between all groups (p<0.05). The volume of residual graft was significantly decreased in HA group compared to xenograft group (p=0.035). Marrow space, trabecular thickness (TbTh), trabecular width (TbWi), trabecular separation (TbSp), and number of node: number of terminus (NNd:NTm) in the autograft group were significantly better than xenograft and HA groups (p<0.05). However, regarding marrow space, TbTh, TbWi, TbSp, and NNd:NTm values, xenograft and HA groups showed similar results and the difference were not significant (p>0.05). Conclusion: These results support that high molecular weight hyaluronic acid could contribute to the healing of xenograft by improving the percentage of new bone formation and reducing the percentage of residual graft. However, HA did not significantly affect the quality of newly formed bone assessed by microarchitectural parameters.</p></div>