Skip to Main Content
An image analysis technique has been developed to quantitatively describe the fine vascular patterns observed in ligament tissue. The longitudinal orientational distribution and total vessel volume of India-ink-perfused blood vessel segments in normal and healing ligaments were determined. The methods involved special vascular preparation of adult rabbit knee medial collateral ligaments (MCLs) by India-ink perfusion. Black and white microscope images of ink-perfused tissue sections were subjected to a thresholding procedure to binarize digitized ligament images, which were then skeletonized and analyzed for directional distribution based on the least-squares technique. Analysis of medial collateral ligaments in New Zealand White rabbits using this method has shown that scarred tissue is more vascular and has a more chaotic angular distribution of blood-vessel segments than normal ligament tissue.