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The effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields on the osteointegration of hydroxyapatite implants in cancellous bone: a morphologic and microstructural in vivo study


Effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs, 75 Hz. 1.6 mT) were investigated in 12 rabbits after placing hydroxyapatite (HA) implants in their femoral condyles. Six animals were stimulated with PEMFs for three consecutive weeks, 6 h/day, while the remaining animals were sham-treated (Control Group). Rabbits were sacrificed at 3 and 6 weeks (after a 3-week non-stimulation period) for histomorphometric analysis and microhardness testing (at 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000 microm from the implant) around the implants. Histomorphometric analysis did not highlight any significant changes. On the contrary, there were statistically significant differences between the effects produced by PEMFs and Control Groups (F = 149.70, p < 0.0005) on the Affinity Index results, as well as by the experimental time of 6 and 3 weeks (F = 17.12, p = 0.001) on the same results. In PEMF-stimulated animals the microhardness (HV) values measured in trabecular bone at a distance of 200 and 500 microm from the implants, were significantly higher with respect to controls. At 6 weeks, HV values at the bone-implant interface in PEMF-stimulated animals were not significantly different with respect to normal bone, while they remained significantly lower in control animals. Both morphological and structural results demonstrated a positive therapeutic effect of PEMFs in accelerating HA osteointegration in trabecular bone.

J Orthop Res 2002 Jul;20(4):756-63
Fini M, Cadossi R, Cane V, Cavani F, Giavaresi G, Krajewski A, Martini L, Aldini NN, Ravaglioli A, Rimondini L, Torricelli P, Giardino R.

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