Objective: To compare the resorption characteristics of dorsal onlay cartilage autografts from the septum, auricle, and rib. Methods: FourteenNewZealandwhite rabbitsunderwent harvesting of equal-sized septal, auricular, and costal cartilage grafts free of perichondrium. All autografts were implanted subcutaneously on the nasal dorsum and then removedafter3months. Graft mass,chondrocytedensity,and histologic featuresfromhematoxylin-eosin- stainedsections were compared before and 3 months after implantation. Results: At 3 months after implantation, septal cartilage grafts averaged 30.8% resorption by weight, followed by auricular (23.1%) and costal (7.6%) cartilage. All 3 groups demonstrated similar changes in chondrocyte density and minor calcification at 3 months. There was no evidence of necrosis or inflammatory changes in any of the specimens. Conclusions: Although the septum is often the preferred source of autogenous cartilage for nasal reconstruction, short-term resorption of septal cartilage appears to be higher for dorsal onlay grafts. The low resorption of costal cartilage may be due in part to its compact shape compared with septal and auricular cartilage. It remains to be seen whether these differences in resorption persist in the long term.
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