Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Hemarthrosis in rhesus monkeys was studied to: (1) provide information regarding the possible relationship between traumatic hemarthrosis and naturally occurring calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate-deposition disease (CPPD-DD) in rhesus monkeys, (2) fill a void in the literature regarding experimental hemarthrosis in primates, (3) and study the early changes that occur in blood-induced cartilage destruction by adding biochemical, metabolic and morphometric analyses to the traditional morphologic evaluations. Three ml of autologous blood were injected into the left knee of 16 anesthetized monkeys; the right knee was an untreated control. Monkeys were sacrificed at 7 days, 2, 3, and 6 months post injection (PI). Synovial membrane and articular cartilage were evaluated by light microscopy, and scanning and transmission electron microscopy (EM). Articular cartilage was further analyzed by biochemical, metabolic and morphometric procedures. There was a hyperplastic and inflammatory reaction in the synovium at 7-days PI, which had resolved by 2 months PI. Synoviocytes in the 7-day group contained numerous cytoplasmic vacuoles and prominent microplicae. Erythrophagocytosis by synoviocytes was observed by light microscopy and confirmed by transmission EM. Scanning EM revealed another possible route of blood removal from joints; red cells were frequently interposed between synoviocytes, suggesting movement through the synovial intima. Mild degenerative changes in superficial chondrocytes included increased numbers of myelin figures and cytoplasmic vacuolation. There was an overall significant decrease in cartilage proteoglycan content of principal joints as well as increased collagenous protein production. The cartilage of principal joints was hypercellular relative to controls. No difference was found between principal and control joints in regards to crystals within the pericellular and territorial matrix. In conclusion: (1) Rhesus monkeys reacted to hemarthrosis similar to dogs and rabbits, resulting in mild morphologic changes with resolution by 2-months PI. (2) Early changes in blood-induced cartilage destruction in rhesus monkeys is apparently related to noxious influences on chondrocytes and interference with their ability to maintain the cartilage matrix. (3) Experimental hemarthrosis failed to produce CPPD crystals. The joint insult produced by a single episode of hemarthrosis may not have been prolonged or severe enough for proposed crystallization mechanisms to act.