The ability of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to accelerate neoangiogenesis from implanted arterovenous (AV) bundles in necrotic bone was evaluated. A saphenous AV bundle was placed in a necrotic segment of rabbit ilium. In group II, VEGF (100 ng/h × 3 days) was administered by continuous infusion. Bone blood flow was measured with radioactive-labeled microspheres, and capillary density was determined by microangiography combined with Spälteholtz bone clearing at 1, 2, and 4 weeks. Neovascularization was observed along the implanted vascular bundle in both groups. One week after surgery, bone blood flow and vessel area were significantly higher in VEGF-treated animals (P < 0.05). No significant difference was observed at later times. Direct VEGF administration increased surgical angiogenesis and improved blood flow and neovascularization in necrotic bone 1 week after AV bundle implantation. Thereafter, a robust angiogenic response from the AV bundle was seen in both groups.
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