Published online Sep 18, 2014. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v5.i4.550
Revised: June 14, 2014
Accepted: June 20, 2014
Published online: September 18, 2014
AIM: To investigate donor site’s area histological and immunohistochemical knee cartilage appearances after resurfacing iatrogenic defects with biosynthetic plugs orautografts.
METHODS: Thirty New Zealand White rabbits were used in this study. A full-thickness cylindrical defect of 4.5 mm (diameter) × 7 mm (depth) was created with a hand drill in the femoral groove of every animal. In Group A (n = 10) the defect of the donor site was repaired with a biosynthetic osteochondral plug, in Group B (n = 10) with an osteochondral autograft, while in Group C (control group of 10) rabbits were left untreated.
RESULTS: Twenty-four weeks postoperatively, smooth articular cartilage was found macroscopically in some trocleas’ surfaces; in all others, an articular surface with discontinuities was observed. Twenty-eight out of 30 animals were found with predominantly viable chondrocytes leaving the remaining two -which were found only in the control group- with partially viable chondrocytes. However, histology revealed many statistical differences between the groups as far as the International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) categories are concerned. Immunofluoresence also revealed the presence of collagen II in all specimens of Group B, whereas in Group A collagen II was found in less specimens. In Group C collagen IIwas not found.
CONCLUSION: The matrix, cell distribution, subchondral bone and cartilage mineralization ICRS categories showed statistically differences between the three groups. Group A was second, while group B received the best scores; the control group got the worst ICRS scores in these categories. So, the donor site area, when repairing osteochondral lesions with autografting systems, is better amended with osteochondral autograft rather than bone graft substitute implant.
Core tip: The donor site during the autografting process or during synthetic plugging when dealing with osteochondral defects is usually not well evaluated or addressed. This is an innovative original article, in which the donor site is repaired with autografts or synthetic plugs and after 24 wk it is histologically and immunohistochemically evaluated and compared.