While current consensus suggests the absence of collagen in osteonal cement lines, the extent of cement line mineralization and the nature of the ground substance within the cement line are unclear. Samples of human radius were examined by using scanning electron microscopy, electron microprobe, and histochemical techniques. X‐ray intensities were used to compare the amount of calcium, phosphorus, and sulfur in cement lines with amounts in surrounding lamellar bone. The results indicate that cement lines contain significantly less calcium and phosphorus, but significantly more sulfur, than surrounding bone matrix. The Ca/P ratio of cement lines was significantly greater than that of lamellar bone, suggesting that the mineral in cement lines may not be in the form of mature hydroxyapatite. No selective staining of the cement lines could be demonstrated by using periodic acid‐Schiff, Sudan black B, or alcian blue critical electrolyte concentration techniques.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)