This image illustrates the epiphyseal plate of a long bone. Click on the thumbnail at right for higher magnification of a zone of endochondral bone formation in a similar specimen.
Note that as one scans across epiphyseal plat from top to bottom, one sees sequential stages in the process of endochondral ossification. Cartilage is growing (expanding), pushing the epiphyseal bone upward. Across the epiphyseal plate, we see progressive stages of:
- cartilage formation,
- cartilage maturation,
- hypertrophy of chondrocytes,
- calcification of cartilage,
- invasion of cartilage by bone.
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Last updated: 11 March 2004 / dgk