Investigation of femoral head osteonecrosis would benefit from an animal model whose natural history includes progression to bony collapse of a segmental necrotic lesion. The bipedal emu holds attraction for systematic organ-level study of collapse mechanopathology. One established method of experimentally inducing segmental lesions is liquid nitrogen cryoinsult. Four cryoinsult parameters-hold temperature, freeze duration, freeze/thaw repetition, and thaw duration-were investigated to determine their individual and combined effects on resulting necrotic lesion morphology. 3D distributions of histologically apparent osteocyte necrosis from 24 emus receiving varying cryoinsults were used to develop univariate and multivariate linear regression models relating resulting necrotic lesion morphology to particular cryoinsult input parameters. These models were then applied to predict lesion size in four additional emus receiving differing input cryoinsults. The best multivariate regression model predicted lesion volumes that were accurate to better than 8% of overall emu femoral head volume. The hold temperature during cryoinsult was by far the most influential cryoinsult input parameter. The utility of this information is to enhance the consistency and predictability of cryoinsult-induced segmental lesion size for the purposes of systematic laboratory studies at the whole-organ level.
- femoral head osteonecrosis
- linear regression