Effect of chemotherapy on human growth plate

J Pediatr Orthop. 1993 Mar-Apr;13(2):220-4.


Histologic specimens of the distal femoral growth plates of 10 patients treated surgically for osteosarcoma were examined retrospectively. Eight of the patients received preoperative chemotherapy. None of the specimens showed complete growth arrest. The gross thickness of the plates was preserved. Columnar arrangement of the cells was minimally disrupted. The number of proliferative cells in each column was decreased, and the number of hypertrophic cells, was increased slightly. The metaphysis showed longitudinal trabeculations with a high chondroid content. Growth arrest lines were evidenced by transverse trabeculations with a high osteoid content. Our findings provide histologic support for previous clinical studies. Absence of complete growth arrest and evidence of a resumption of growth are relevant in planning limb salvage procedures in patients receiving pre- and postoperative chemotherapy for skeletal malignancy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Female
  • Femoral Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Femoral Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Femur / drug effects*
  • Femur / pathology
  • Growth Plate / drug effects*
  • Growth Plate / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteosarcoma / drug therapy
  • Osteosarcoma / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / drug therapy
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / pathology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents