eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2016   Volume No 32 – pages 216-227

Title: Lumbar intervertebral disc allograft transplantation: healing and remodelling of the bony structure

Authors: Y-C Huang, J Xiao, VYL Leung, WW Lu, Y Hu, KDK Luk

Address: Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, The University of Hong Kong, 5/F Professor Block, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China

E-mail: hrmoldk at

Key Words: Intervertebral disc, allograft, transplantation, bony healing, remodelling, endplate.

Publication date: October 19th 2016

Abstract: Previous human study suggested that fresh-frozen intervertebral disc allograft transplantation can relieve neurological symptoms and restore segmental kinematics. Before wide clinical application, research into the pathophysiology of the postoperative disc allograft is needed. One important question that remains to be answered in disc allografting is the healing process of the host-graft interface and the subsequent change of the endplates. With the goat model for lumbar disc allografting, histology, micro-computed tomography analysis, scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy mapping were applied to evaluate the healing of the host-graft interfaces, the remodelling of subchondral bone, and the changes of the bony and cartilaginous endplates after transplantation. It was found that healing of the host-graft interfaces started at 1.5 months and was completed at 6 months by natural remodelling. This bony remodelling was also noted in the subchondral bone area after 6 months. The bony endplate was well preserved initially, but was gradually replaced by trabecular bone afterwards; on the other hand, the cartilaginous endplate became atrophic at 6 months and nearly disappeared at the final follow-up. Collectively, after intervertebral disc allograft transplantation, bony healing and remodelling were seen which ensured the stability and mobility of the disc-transplanted segment, but the integrity of bony and cartilaginous endplates was gradually lost and nearly disappeared finally.

Article download: Pages 216-227 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v032a14