Osteogenesis in calvarial defects: Contribution of the dura, the pericranium, and the surrounding bone in adult versus infant animals

Arun K. Gosain*, Timothy D. Santoro, Lian Sheng Song, Christopher C. Capel, P. V. Sudhakar, Hani S. Matloub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


Guided bone regeneration is a promising means for reconstructing bone defects in the cranium. The present study was performed to better define those factors that affect osteogenesis in the cranium. The authors studied a single animal model, investigating the contribution of the dura, the pericranium, and the adjacent calvarial bone in the process of calvarial regeneration in both mature and immature animals. Bilateral, 100-mm2, parietal calvariectomies were performed in immature (n = 16) and mature (n = 16) rabbits. Parietal defects were randomized to one of four groups depending on the differential blockade of the dura and/or the pericranium by expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membranes. Animals were humanely killed after 12 weeks, and histometric analysis was performed to quantitate the area of the original bone defect, new bone formation, and new bone density. Bone formation was quantified separately both at the periphery and in the center of the defects. Extrasite bone formation was also quantified both on the dural and on the pericranial sides of the barriers. Bone regeneration was incomplete in all groups over the 12-week study period, indicating that complete bone healing was not observed in any group. The dura was more osteogenic than the pericranium in mature and immature animals, as there was significantly more extrasite bone formed on the dural side in the double expanded polytetrafluoroethylene barrier groups. In both the dural and the double expanded polytetrafluoroethylene barrier groups, dural bone production was significantly greater in immature compared with mature animals. The dura appeared to be the source of central new bone, because dural blockade in the dural and double expanded polytetrafluoroethylene groups resulted in a significant decrease in central bone density in both mature and immature animals. Paradoxically, isolation of the pericranium in mature animals resulted in a significant reduction in total new bone area, whereas pericranial contact appeared to enhance peripheral new bone formation, with the control group having the greatest total new bone area. The present study establishes a model to quantitatively study the process of bone regeneration in calvarial defects and highlights differences in the contribution of the dura and pericranium to calvarial bone regeneration between infant and adult animals. On the basis of these findings, the authors propose that subsequent studies in which permeability of the expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membranes is altered to permit migration of osteoinductive proteins into the defect while blocking prolapse of adjacent soft tissues may help to make guided bone regeneration a realistic alternative for the repair of cranial defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-527
Number of pages13
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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