Autologous iliac crest bone graft (ICBG) is the gold standard material for spinal fusion. Bone graft substitutes, such as recombinant human bone morphogenic protein 2 (rhBMP-2) have been developed to promote spinal fusion and address morbidity issues related to ICBG harvesting. The objective of this study was to compare bone fusion rates after anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) between ICBG and rhBMP-2 by examining thin-cut computed tomography (CT) images at the one year follow-up.
Fifty one patients (62 levels) who underwent single- or two-level ALIF via the video-assisted minimally invasive anterior approach in our institution were assessed. Radiolucent cages were inserted in all cases. Each cage has a middle beam delimiting two chambers. Grafting was performed as follows: one chamber was filled with autologous ICBG, and the other chamber was filled with 6 mg of rhBMP-2. Thin-cut CT-scan multiplanar reconstruction analyses were performed to assess the rate and quality of bone fusion at one year of follow-up.
Fusion was observed in 55 levels (88.7 %), with significant differences in fusion rates with rhBMP-2 and ICBG (71 % vs. 88.7 %) (P=0.001). Osteogenesis in the rhBMP-2 chamber had a centripetal pattern in all cases, leaving a central void in 97.7 % of cases representing 38.3 % of the surface of its chamber (range 0–80.3 %). In ICBG chambers, graft resorption was present in 44.4 %, representing 9.8 % of the chamber surface (range 0–52.2 %).
RhBMP-2 was inferior to ICBG in terms of rate and quality of bone fusion in one- or two-level ALIF.
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Conflict of interest and funding source
None of the authors has, currently or in the past, financial activity for the work under consideration.
CH F-L is receiving travel expenses from LDR Medical, Medtronic and DePuy Synthes.
AG declares no conflict of interest.
JA is currently receiving honoraria, royalties, payment for lectures or travel support from Medtronic, DePuy Synthes, LDR Medical.
PH declares no conflict of interest.
AP has received travel support from LDR Medical.
CB has received travel support from LDR Medical, DePuy Synthes and Medtronic
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Flouzat-Lachaniette, CH., Ghazanfari, A., Bouthors, C. et al. Bone union rate with recombinant human bone morphogenic protein-2 versus autologous iliac bone in PEEK cages for anterior lumbar interbody fusion. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) 38, 2001–2007 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00264-014-2301-6