Macroscopic and microscopic findings in avascular necrosis of the femoral head

Vol. 53 No. 3 Suppl., 2012
This supplement was not sponsored by Outside Organizations.


Diana Kamal, D. O. Alexandru, C. K. Kamal, C. T. Streba, D. Grecu, L. Mogoanta

The avascular necrosis of the femoral head is an illness induced by the cutoff of blood flow to the femoral head and it affects mostly young adults between the ages of 30 and 50 years, raising therapeutic and diagnostic issues. Many risk factors are incriminated in the development of avascular necrosis of the femoral head like: trauma, chronic alcohol consumption, smoking, administration of corticosteroid drugs, most of the cases are considered to be idiopathic. The main goal of our paper is to describe the macroscopic and microscopic variations of the bone structure, which occur in patients with avascular necrosis of the femoral head. Materials and Methods: The biological material needed for our study was obtained following hip arthroplasty surgery in 26 patients between the ages of 29 and 59 years, which previously were diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the femoral head and admitted in the Orthopedics Department of the Emergency County Hospital of Craiova (Romania) between 2010 and 2011. From a macroscopic point of view, we found well defined areas of necrosis, most of which were neatly demarcated of the adjacent viable tissue by hyperemic areas, loss of shape and contour of the femoral head and transformations of the articular cartilage above the area of necrosis. When examined under the microscope, we found vast areas of fibrosis, narrow bone trabeculae, obstructed blood vessels or blood vessels with clots inside, hypertrophic fat cells, bone sequestration but also small cells and pyknotic nuclei. The microscopic and macroscopic findings on the femoral head sections varied with the patients and the stage of the disease.

Corresponding author: Dragos Ovidiu Alexandru; e-mail:

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Alina Murgu, Doina Mihaila, Lorette Cozma, Ana Maria Chiforeanu

Henoch-Schonlein purpura, the most common primary vasculitis of the child, may cause, in some cases with atypical clinical picture, diagnostic difficulties with a significant prognosis impact, especially when occasionally "silent" renal symptoms coexist. The purpose of our study is, on one hand, to determine the histopathological investigation needs of Henoch-Schonlein purpura in children with atypical cutaneous manifestations or incomplete forms of illness and, on the other hand, to point out the correlation between the cutaneous histopathological aspects and other clinical and biological manifestations. Results: Optical microscopy revealed signs of leukocytoclastic vasculitis in 11 of the 22 cases with ulcerative necrotic purpura and atypical clinical picture. Immunohistochemical examination proved that these were associated with IgA deposits on the vascular wall, sometimes accompanied by C3, fibrin, IgM and CD3. The severity of the skin manifestations was directly correlated with the severity of digestive and/or renal symptoms. Conclusions: Skin biopsy is indicated only in the atypical or incomplete forms of disease to support positive diagnosis by immunohistochemical evidence of the vascular IgA deposits. The severity and persistence of the ulceronecrotic purpuric rash seems to be directly related rather to the severity of the other clinical manifestations (digestive or renal) than to the generalized extensively purpuric appearance.

Corresponding author: Alina Murgu, Assistant Professor, MD; e-mail:

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