The amount or quality of available septal cartilage may be inadequate for grafting in some rhinoplasty patients. In such cases, auricular or costal cartilage may provide an additional source of cartilage. Crushed septal cartilage has been shown to be useful for dorsal onlay grafts. We aimed to investigate the effect of different degrees of crushing on the viability of human auricular and costal cartilage. Ten auricular and 10 costal cartilage grafts were obtained from 20 patients during secondary rhinoplasty. Each graft was sectioned into five pieces. One of the pieces was left intact and the remaining four were prepared as slightly, moderately, significantly, and severely crushed. Viability and proliferation rates of chondrocytes in cell cultures were evaluated. Mean viability rates on day 1 for intact, slightly crushed, moderately crushed, significantly crushed, and severely crushed auricular cartilages were 70%, 67%, 65%, 58%, and 45%; while those for costal cartilages were 65%, 63%, 59%, 55%, and 53%, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between the viability rates of the similarly crushed auricular and costal cartilage groups on days 1, 2, 3 and 10. The viability of crushed human auricular and costal cartilage grafts depends on the degree of crushing applied. (C) 2010 European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery.