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Published online: 2023-06-05

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Morphological study of the arterial supply to the menisci in pigs with special reference to creating meniscus injury model

Yutaro Natsuyama12, Mingshou Zhang1, Ting Yang1, Kazuyuki Shimada1, Ke Ren3, Yasuko Kamikawa4, Juefei Chen1, Shuang-Qin Yi1

Abstract

Background: Some reports have used pigs to establish models of meniscus injury. However, accurate information on the origin, course, and access of the arteries supplying the menisci remains unclear. This information is important to avoid damaging vital arteries when creating the meniscus injury model.

Materials and methods: In this study, fetal and adult pigs were employed to investigate the arterial supply of the menisci in pigs using gross anatomical and histological methods.

Results: Macro-anatomically, the anterior horn, body, and posterior horn of the medial meniscus were found to be supplied by the medial superior genicular artery, medial inferior genicular artery, and posterior middle genicular artery. The anterior and posterior horns of the lateral meniscus were supplied by the cranial tibial recurrent artery and the middle genicular artery, respectively. Anastomosis was observed in some cases, but appeared to be infrequent and too thin to expect the anastomotic branches to provide adequate blood flow. The histological examination showed that the arteries entered the meniscus along the tie-fiber. The access process of the artery was the same irrespective of whether it was in fetal or mature pigs, the medial or lateral meniscus, or the anterior horn or body or posterior horn. The medial inferior genicular artery ran along the medial meniscus in the circumferential direction. Therefore, the clinical longitudinal incision should take into account the characteristics of the vessel course in order to protect the blood vessels from damage.

Conclusions: Based on the results of this study, the protocol for creating a pig meniscus injury model should be reconsidered.

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