We measured the microvascular regional perfusion in 12 hips with non-traumatic osteonecrosis of the femoral head, using laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF). Simultaneously, the intraosseous pressure (IOP) was measured in the femoral head. For comparison, the same 2 parameters were measured in 6 normal femoral heads during surgery of the contralateral hip. In osteonecrosis, the regional blood cell flux in the intertrochanteric area was 165 mV, at the rim of the lesion 430 mV, and in the necrotic lesion 35 mV. In the same areas, the IOP was 38 mmHg, 61 mmHg and 55 mmHg. In the normal hips, the LDF signal was 221 mV and 224 mV, and the IOP was 21 mmHg and 19 mmHg intertrochanterically and in the femoral head, respectively. We conclude that the microvascular blood perfusion is uneven in an osteonecrotic head.
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