The efficacy of some demineralized bone matrix (DBM) substances has been demonstrated in the spinal fusion of rats; however, no previous comparative study has reported the efficacy of DBM with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). There is an added cost to the products with stem cells, which should be justified by improved osteogenic potential. The purpose of this study is to prospectively compare the fusion rates of 3 different commercially available DBM substances, both with and without hMSCs.
Posterolateral fusion was performed in 32 mature athymic nude rats. Three groups of 8 rats were implanted with 1 of 3 DBMs: Trinity Evolution (DBM with stem cells), Grafton (DBM without stem cells), or DBX (DBM without stem cells). A fourth group with no implanted material was used as a control group. Radiographs were obtained at 2, 4, and 8 weeks. The rats were euthanized at 8 weeks. Overall fusion was determined by manual palpation and micro-CT.
The fusion rates at 8 weeks on the radiographs for Trinity Evolution, Grafton, and DBX were 8 of 8 rats, 3 of 8 rats, and 5 of 8 rats, respectively. A significant difference was found between Trinity Evolution and Grafton (p = 0.01). The overall fusion rates as determined by micro-CT and manual palpation for Trinity Evolution, Grafton, and DBX were 4 of 8 rats, 3 of 8 rats, and 3 of 8 rats, respectively. The Trinity Evolution substance had the highest overall fusion rate, however no significant difference was found between groups.
The efficacies of these DBM substances are demonstrated; however, the advantage of DBM with hMSCs could not be found in terms of posterolateral fusion. When evaluating spinal fusion using DBM substances, CT analysis is necessary in order to not overestimate fusion.