Comparison of fibrovascular ingrowth into hydroxyapatite and porous polyethylene orbital implants

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 1994 Jun;10(2):96-103. doi: 10.1097/00002341-199406000-00005.


Two porous orbital implants available for clinical use in the anophthalmic socket are hydroxyapatite (HA) and porous polyethylene (PP). We examined the rate and the extent of fibrovascular ingrowth into these implants using histopathologic criteria in a rabbit model. Thirty-two New Zealand white rabbits underwent a unilateral enucleation with placement of a 14-mm spherical orbital implant. Twelve rabbits received HA, 12 small-pore PP, and 8 large-pore PP. The implants inserted were wrapped either in autologous sclera with and without anterior fenestrations or as unwrapped spheres. The implants were harvested at 6 and 12 weeks. The extent of fibrovascular ingrowth was assessed by determining the percentage of the cross-sectional area penetrated by fibrovascular tissue. On gross inspection, 12 implants (37.5%) were found to be exposed at harvesting; however, only two were grossly infected. The highest rate of exposure was found among the unwrapped implants. Wrapped versus unwrapped and fenestrated versus unfenestrated implants did not result in significant differences in the extent of vascularization. Hydroxyapatite implants were vascularized most rapidly. The small-pore PP implants did not become fully vascularized during the study, and yet complete vascularization was found in the large-pore PP at 12 weeks. The most intense areas of microscopic fibrovascular ingrowth were in the region where the extraocular muscles were in direct contact with the implant and at the posterior opening. Exposure of the implant was accompanied by chronic and acute inflammation. Both HA and large-pore PP spherical implants are capable of complete vascularization in this animal model.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Durapatite*
  • Eye Enucleation
  • Female
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Orbit / blood supply
  • Orbit / pathology*
  • Orbit / surgery*
  • Osseointegration
  • Polyethylenes
  • Porosity
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Rabbits


  • Polyethylenes
  • Durapatite