Experimental hydroxyapatite cement cranioplasty

Plast Reconstr Surg. 1992 Aug;90(2):174-85; discussion 186-91.


Hydroxyapatite cement is a calcium phosphate-based material that when mixed with water forms a dense paste that sets within 15 minutes and isothermically converts in vivo to a microporous hydroxyapatite implant. This cement was used to reconstruct bilateral 2.5-cm-diameter full-thickness critical-sized parietal skull defects in six cats. One side was reconstructed with 100 percent hydroxyapatite cement, and the other with a mixture of 50 percent hydroxyapatite cement and 50 percent ground autogenous bone by weight. These animals were sacrificed at 6 and 12 months after implantation. Positive and negative controls also were prepared. The anatomic contour of the soft tissue overlying all hydroxyapatite cement implants was well maintained, there were no wound infections or structural failures, and the implants were well tolerated histologically. None of the negative (unreconstructed) control defects was completely filled with repair bone, and all positive (methyl methacrylate) controls demonstrated foreign-body giant-cell formation and fibrous encapsulation of the implants. Examination of decalcified and undecalcified sections revealed progressive but variable replacement of the cement by new bone and soft tissue without a change in the shape or volume of the hydroxyapatite cement-reconstructed areas. New bone comprised 77.3 and 64.7 percent of the tissue replacing the hydroxyapatite cement and hydroxyapatite cement-bone implants, respectively. Replacement of the hydroxyapatite cement implants by new bone is postulated to occur by a combination of osteoconduction and implant resorption. These results indicate that further experimental research leading to the possible application of hydroxyapatite cement for full-thickness calvarial defect reconstruction in humans is warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Cements*
  • Bone Regeneration
  • Cats
  • Durapatite
  • Hydroxyapatites / administration & dosage*
  • Methylmethacrylate
  • Methylmethacrylates / administration & dosage
  • Radiography
  • Skull / cytology
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging
  • Skull / surgery*


  • Bone Cements
  • Hydroxyapatites
  • Methylmethacrylates
  • Methylmethacrylate
  • Durapatite