Difference between Perichondrium and Periosteum

Perichondrium

The perichondrium is a dense layer of connective tissues that lines the surface of cartilage on developing bones. It is composed of two layers, an outer fibrous layer containing fibroblasts that produce collagenous fibres, and an inner chondrogenic layer that forms chondroblasts.

The outer fibrous layer protects and strengthens the bone and the inner chondroblasts divide to give structure to the cartilage. The outer layer also consists of blood vessels that help in the nourishment of cartilage. The chondroblasts divide to form chondrocytes that make up the cellular component of cartilage.

The layer also reduces friction and provides elasticity to the body parts. It is also helpful in repairing cartilage. Damage or infection to the layer can cause perichondritis that can be characterised by pain and swelling on the affected area.

Periosteum

Periosteum is another layer of dense fibrous connective tissue that covers the bones except at the joints. A vascularised perichondrium can be referred to as a periosteum. The periosteum is composed of two layers, an outer fibrous layer of fibroblasts that contains blood vessels and sensory nerves and an inner layer that contains osteoblasts.

The blood vessels in the outer layer supply nutrition to the osteoblasts. Damage to the layer causes pain. The osteoblasts differentiate to form osteocytes. They form new bone cells which strengthen and lengthen the bones. In the event of a bone fracture, the osteoblast cells multiply rapidly for healing.

Inflammation in the layer causes periostitis that causes mild swelling and tenderness in the affected area.

Perichondrium vs Periosteum

Perichondrium

Periosteum

Definition

A fibrous layer of connective tissues that lines the cartilage on developing bones is referred to as the perichondrium.

A fibrous layer of connective tissues that lines the bones except the joints is referred to as the periosteum.

Layers

It is composed of an outer fibrous layer and an inner layer of chondroblasts.

It is composed of an outer fibrous layer and an inner layer of osteoblasts.

Cells and their Function

The chondroblasts divide to form chondrocytes that form the cellular component of the cartilage.

The osteoblasts divide to form osteocytes that give rise to new bone cells.

Functions

  • The perichondrium covers the cartilage to protect the bones from damage.
  • It also provides elasticity and reduces friction.
  • It helps in cartilage repair as well.
  • It provides nourishment to the bones.
  • The osteoblasts divide rapidly during the event of a bone fracture for quick healing.
  • It provides a site of attachment for muscles and tendons.

Damage to the Layer

Damage to the layer can cause perichondritis.

Damage to the layer can cause periostitis.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Perichondrium and Periosteum

Does the perichondrium become a periosteum?

Yes, a vascularised perichondrium is known as a periosteum.

What is the difference between periosteum and endosteum?

Periosteum is a layer that covers the surface of the bones. On the other hand, the endosteum is an inner layer that covers the bone cavities.

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