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Epiphyseal Artery

- See:
      - Metaphyseal Artery
      - Nutrient Artery
      - Periosteal Artery

- Discussion:
    - in femoral and radial heads which are almost entirely covered by cartilage,
         - vessels enter in region between articular cartilage & growth-plate cartilage, and hence, the blood supply is tenuous;
    - in other regions, the epiphysis has openings that permit passage of large number of vessels into and out of the ossification centers;
    - growth plate itself is avascular & receives nutrition from 2 sources;
          - epiphyseal vessels that supply resting, germinal, proliferating, and upper hypertrophic cell layers by diffusion
          - metaphyseal vessels that supply zone of provisional calcification;
    - in young child, epiphyseal vessels are separated from metaphyseal vessels, but following growth arrest of the cartilage plate, there is an extensive anastomoses between epiphyseal vessels, metaphyseal vessels, & terminal branches of Nutrient Artery;
    - obliteration of epiphyseal blood supply results in necrosis of epiphysis & deprives deeper cartilage cells of growth plate of their nutrition;
           - longitudinal growth ceases, &, if collateral circulation is not quickly restored, permanent closure of epiphyseal plate occurs;
          - epiphyseal vessels are responsible for permitting longitudinal growth to occur, whereas metaphyseal vessels nourish osteoprogenitor cells, which lay down bone on cartilage matrix

The role of the epiphyseal and metaphyseal circulations on longitudinal growth in the dog: an experimental study.