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Autoimmunity and chondrolysis of the hip

A report of two cases


Two patients with rapidly progressive chondrolysis of the hip are reported. Immunofluorescent staining showed deposits of immunoglobulins and complement components in the synovium and the remaining femoral head cartilage. Seven patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, or femoral neck fractures, were used as controls and all had a negative immunofluorescent staining reaction in the synovium. We suggest that an autoimmune reaction against articular cartilage antigens may play a role in the development of chondrolysis.


Deux patients présentant une chondrolyse rapide de la tête fémorale ont été examinés sur le plan histopathologique et immunohistologique. L'examen immunohistologique par immunofluorescence a montré des dépôts d'immunoglobulines et des composants du complément au niveau du tissu synovial et du cartilage restant de la tête fémorale. Sept malades atteints de coxarthrose, de gonarthrose et de fracture du col de fémur ont servi de témoins. Tous ces témoins ont été négatifs à la réaction par immunofluorescence. On est amené ainsi à supposer qu'une réaction auto-immune vis-à-vis du cartilage articulaire peut jouer un rôle dans la genèse de la chondrolyse.

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Correspondence to Y. Yoshioka.

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Yoshioka, Y., Shichikawa, K. Autoimmunity and chondrolysis of the hip. International Orthopaedics 11, 289–293 (1987).

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Key words

  • Chondrolysis
  • Autoimmune reaction
  • Cartilage antigen