Osteogenic protein versus autologous interbody arthrodesis in the sheep thoracic spine. A comparative endoscopic study using the Bagby and Kuslich interbody fusion device.

Publication/Presentation Date



STUDY DESIGN: Using an in vivo interbody arthrodesis model, the efficacy of the Bagby and Kuslich (BAK) device packed with recombinant human osteogenic protein-1 (rhOP-1) was evaluated.

OBJECTIVES: To compare the efficacy of osteogenic protein with that of autograft for interbody arthrodesis, with fusion success based on biomechanical, histologic, and radiographic analyses.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: The use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic proteins (rhBMPs) as osteoinductive bone graft substitutes or expanders has recently gained considerable research interest, particularly when applied in posterolateral arthrodesis. However, whether these results can be extrapolated to a successful interbody spinal arthrodesis remains uncertain.

METHODS: Twelve sheep underwent a multilevel thoracic spinal decompression by thoracoscopic approach. Three noncontiguous destabilization sites (T5-T6, T7-T8, T9-T10) were prepared and randomly treated as follows. Control group treatments were nonsurgical, destabilization alone, and empty BAK. Experimental groups were treated with autograft alone, BAK device packed with autograft, or BAK device packed with rhOP-1. Four months after surgery, interbody fusion status was quantified by biomechanical testing, computed tomography, microradiography, and histomorphometry.

RESULTS: Results of biomechanical analysis showed statistically higher segmental stiffness levels when comparing the control and experimental groups with four of the five testing methods (P < 0.05). Computed tomography and microradiography characterized destabilization alone as producing one fusion in six preparations; the empty BAK, two in six;, autograft alone, four in eight; BAK with autograft, five in eight; and BAK with rhOP-1 group, six in eight-all evidenced by woven trabecular bone spanning the fusion sites. Histomorphometry yielded significantly more trabecular bone formation at the fusion sites in the three experimental groups than in the two control groups (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Interbody spinal fusions showing biomechanical and histomorphometric equivalency to autologous fusions have been achieved with rhOP-1. The functional unit stability and histologic osteointegration evidenced by the BAK/rhOP-1 complex shows this interbody arthrodesis technique to be a viable alternative toconventional autologous iliac crest, thereby obviating the need for an iliac crest donor site and associated patient morbidity.





First Page


Last Page





Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Surgery

Document Type