Laser doppler flowmetry for bone blood flow measurement: Correlation with microsphere estimates and evaluation of the effect of intracapsular pressure on femoral head blood flow

Marc F. Swiontkowski, S. Tepic, S. M. Perren, R. Moor, R. Ganz, B. A. Rahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

Laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) was used to measure bone blood flow in the rabbit femoral head and femoral condyles. To correlate the LDF output signal blood cell flux to in vivo blood flow, simultaneous measurements using LDF and 85Sr‐labeled microspheres were made in an adult rabbit model. There was no correlation between the two methods for blood flow in the femoral condyles and the correlation between the two methods for blood flow in the femoral head does not achieve statistical significance. An LDF signal of 0.4 V was approximately equal to a microsphere measured flow rate of 0.4 ml blood/g bone/min. The strength of the correlation in the latter case may have been affected by (a) large arteriovenous shunts, (b) inadequate mixing of the microspheres with a left ventricular injection, and (c) insufficient numbers of microspheres present in the bone samples with which to satisfy the mathematical requirements of the microsphere method. When LDF was used to evaluate the effect of elevated intracapsular pressure on femoral head blood flow in skeletally mature rabbits, femoral head subchondral bone blood flow declined with increasing intracapsular pressure from a baseline value of 0.343 ± 0.036 to a value of 0.127 ± 0.27 at 120 cm of water pressure. The decline in femoral head blood flow was statistically significant at pressures of 40 cm of water or higher (p < 0.001), and evaluation of sections of the proximal femora made from preterminal disulphine blue injections confirmed these findings. Intracapsular tamponade has an adverse effect on femoral head blood flow beginning well below central venous pressure and should be considered in the pathophysiology of posttraumatic and nontraumatic necrosis of the femoral head. Laser Doppler flowmetry was easy to use and appears to be a reproducible technique for evaluating femoral head blood flow, offering distinct advantages over the microsphere technique for measuring bone blood flow. Further studies of the in vivo calibration of the LDF method for bone blood flow are necessary for the method to have potential for clinical application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-371
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1986

Keywords

  • Bone blood flow
  • Femoral head necrosis
  • Intracapsular pressure
  • Laser Doppler flowmetry
  • Microsphere technique

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