We investigated the fibrovascular ingrowth and fibrovascular tissue maturation of hydroxyapatite-coated, porous alumina sphere (Alumina sphere) in comparison with the hydroxyapatite sphere (HAp sphere) in rabbits. Alumina spheres and HAp spheres were implanted in the left orbits of 42 New Zealand white rabbits after enucleation. Fibrovascular ingrowth and maturation were graded from 1 to 5 at postoperative 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 12 and 24 weeks. We defined 4 phases: postoperative 1-2 weeks as phase I, 3-4 weeks as phase II, 8-12 weeks as phase III, and 24 weeks as phase IV. The grade was analyzed at each phases. There was no significant difference in fibrovascular ingrowth and maturation between the two groups at all 4 phases, except phase II at which the Alumina sphere showed significantly lower maturation grade (p<0.05). We concluded that the Alumina sphere is an ideal orbital implant material and an ideal substitute for the HAp sphere in clinical practice.
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