2018 Volume 80 Issue 8 Pages 1309-1316
Patellar luxation is abnormal displacement of the patella from the femoral trochlear groove. It is seen primarily in small breed dogs and causes pain and limited mobility of the stifle joint. This study aimed to investigate the relationship among patellar luxation, skin extension, and skin collagen fibril diameter. Nine dogs with patellar luxation and five clinically normal dogs were enrolled in the study. We measured the skin extension and investigated the ultrastructure of the skin and patellofemoral ligament by histopathology and transmission electron microscopy. The mean skin extension in dogs with patellar luxation was 18.5 ± 5.5% which is greater than the reference value (14.5%). Mean skin extension in controls was 8.8 ± 1.7% and was within the normal range. In dogs with patellar luxation, histopathology of the skin and patellofemoral ligament showed sparse and unevenly distributed collagen fibers. Transmission electron microscopy identified poorly organized, irregularly shaped, thin collagen fibrils. Collagen fibril thickness in dogs with patellar luxation was significantly less than fibril thickness in controls (P<0.001). There was a significant negative correlation (ρ= −0.863; P<0.001) between skin collagen fibril diameter and skin extension. Skin extension was correlated with patellar luxation and disease severity. Dogs with patellar luxation, joint dysplasia, and hyperextensible skin appear to be pathologically related. This might represent a phenotype of the Ehlers–Danlos syndrome, a hereditary connective tissue disorder in humans.