Fresh Stored Allografts Effectively Treat Knee Lesions

Graft storage time has no short-term effects on structural or functional outcomes

FRIDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with symptomatic chondral and osteochondral lesions of the knee, reconstruction with fresh allograft tissue that has been hypothermically stored for 17 to 42 days produces good short-term results, according to the findings of a small study published in the April issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Riley J. Williams III, M.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues studied 19 patients (mean age 34) who were treated with fresh osteochondral allografts that had been obtained from commercial vendors and stored for a mean of 30 days.

After a mean follow-up of 25 months, the researchers found that 18 of the implanted grafts had normal articular cartilage thickness and that eight of the grafts had allograft cartilage signal properties that were isointense relative to normal articular cartilage. After a mean follow-up of 48 months, they found that the patients' mean Activities of Daily Living Scale scores increased from 56 to 70 and that the mean Short Form-36 scores increased from 51 to 66.

"Although graft storage time did not appear to affect outcome, longer-term clinical studies are needed to further assess this issue," the authors write. "Interestingly, longer graft-storage times were found to correlate with less graft edema, better graft morphology, and partial or complete osseous incorporation of the graft as noted on the follow-up magnetic resonance imaging evaluations."

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