The use of Reamer Irrigator Aspirator (RIA) autograft harvest in the treatment of critical-sized iliac wing defects in sheep: investigation of dexamethasone and beta-tricalcium phosphate augmentation

Aswin Beck, Dirk Nehrbass, Martin J Stoddart, Damiano Schiuma, Jim Green, Jennifer L Lansdowne, R Geoff Richards, Ludovic P Bouré
Bone 2013, 53 (2): 554-65
Bone grafts are commonly used for the treatment of segmental bone defects and fracture non-unions. Recently, osseous particles obtained during intermedullary canal reaming (using a Reamer-Irrigator-Aspirator (RIA) device) have been evaluated as graft material during in vitro and clinical studies. The aim of this study was to evaluate and quantify new bone formation after implantation of bone graft material obtained after reaming of the tibia in a bilateral critical-sized iliac wing defect in sheep and to investigate the effect of the augmentation of this graft. A reamer bone graft alone, or after short term incubation in a dexamethasone enriched solution, and a reamer graft collected using beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) granules in the filter of the RIA collection device were compared to autologous iliac wing graft. In addition, reamer graft was combined with the cellular fraction collected from the irrigation fluid with and without short-term incubation in a dexamethasone enriched solution. It was hypothesized that the amount of physical bone in the reamer bone graft groups would be higher than the amount in the autologous iliac wing graft group and that augmentation of a reamer bone graft would increase bone formation. Three months after implantation, the amount of new bone formation (as percentage of the total defect volume) in the defects was evaluated ex-vivo by means of micro-CT and histomorphometry. The mean amount of bone in the autologous iliac wing graft group was 17.7% and 16.8% for micro-CT and histomorphometry, respectively. The mean amount of bone in all reamer graft groups ranged between 20.4-29.2% (micro-CT) and 17.0-25.4% (histomorphometry). Reamer graft collected using β-TCP granules (29.2±1.7%) in the filter produced a significantly higher amount of bone in comparison to an autologous iliac wing graft evaluated by micro-CT. RIA bone grafts added a small increase in bone volume to the 3month graft volume in this preclinical sheep model. The current model does not support the use of short-term high concentration dexamethasone for augmentation of a graft volume. If avoidance of an iliac wing graft is desirable, or a reaming procedure is required, then a RIA graft or RIA graft plus β-TCP granules are as good as the current gold standard for this model.

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