European Spine Journal

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 354–358 | Cite as

Anterior lumbar interbody fusion with carbon fiber cage loaded with bioceramics and platelet-rich plasma. An experimental study on pigs

  • Haisheng LiEmail author
  • Xuenong Zou
  • Qingyun Xue
  • Niels Egund
  • Martin Lind
  • Cody Bünger
Original Article


Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autogenous source of growth factor and has been shown to enhance bone healing both in clinical and experimental studies. PRP in combination with porous hydroxyapatite has been shown to increase the bone ingrowth in a bone chamber rat model. The present study investigated whether the combination of beta tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) and PRP may enhance spinal fusion in a controlled animal study. Ten Danish Landrace pigs were used as a spinal fusion model. Immediately prior to the surgery, 55 ml blood was collected from each pig for processing PRP. Three-level anterior lumbar interbody fusion was performed with carbon fiber cages and staples on each pig. Autogenous bone graft, β-TCP, and β-TCP loaded with PRP were randomly assigned to each level. Pigs were killed at the end of the third month. Fusion was evaluated by radiographs, CT scanning, and histomorphometric analysis. All ten pigs survived the surgery. Platelet concentration increased 4.4-fold after processing. Radiograph examination showed 70% (7/10) fusion rate in the autograft level. All the levels with β-TCP+PRP showed partial fusion, while β-TCP alone levels had six partial fusions and four non-fusions (P=0.08). CT evaluation of fusion rate demonstrated fusion in 50% (5/10) of the autograft levels. Only partial fusion was seen at β-TCP levels and β-TCP+PRP levels. Histomorphometric evaluation found no difference between β-TCP and β-TCP+PRP levels on new bone volume, remaining β-TCP particles, and bone marrow and fibrous tissue volume, while the same parameters differ significantly when compared with autogenous bone graft levels. We concluded from our results in pigs that the PRP of the concentration we used did not improve the bone-forming capacity of β-TCP biomaterial in anterior spine fusion. Both β-TCP and β-TCP+PRP had poorer radiological and histological outcomes than that of autograft after 3 months.


Spinal fusion Bone substitute Platelet-rich plasma Tricalcium phosphate Pig 



The study was supported by Depuy AcroMed, Inc. Raynham, MA, USA


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haisheng Li
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xuenong Zou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qingyun Xue
    • 1
    • 2
  • Niels Egund
    • 3
  • Martin Lind
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cody Bünger
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Orthopaedic Department EAarhus University HospitalAarhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Institute of Experimental Clinical ResearchAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Radiology RAarhus University HospitalAarhus CDenmark

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