A porcine model of intervertebral disc degeneration induced by annular injury characterized with magnetic resonance imaging and histopathological findings. Laboratory investigation.

Department of Neurosurgery, Inha University Hospital, Incheon, Korea.
Journal of Neurosurgery Spine (Impact Factor: 1.98). 06/2008; 8(5):450-7. DOI: 10.3171/SPI/2008/8/5/450
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Appropriate animal models of disc degeneration are critical for the study of proposed interventions as well as to further delineate the degenerative process. The purpose of this study was to characterize a porcine model for disc degeneration confirmed on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging studies and histological analysis.
Twelve miniature pigs were used (weight 48-65 kg) to study degeneration in the lumbar spine. Under fluoroscopic guidance, the disc was percutaneously punctured with a 3.2-mm-diameter trephine to a 5-mm depth into the annulus fibrosus. Control and experimental levels were randomized among 6 levels in the lumbar spine. The unlesioned spinal levels were used as controls and were compared with lesioned levels. Magnetic resonance imaging grading and disc height were serially recorded preoperatively, and at 5, 8, 19, 32, and 39 weeks postoperatively. The animals were killed in groups of 3 at 7, 18, 32, and 41 weeks postinjury, and the discs were examined histopathologically.
Consistent, sequential, and progressive degeneration of the annular injury was observed on MR imaging and histopathological studies from the time of injury to the final time point. The disc height and the disc height index also sequentially decreased from the time of the injury in a consistent manner. The uninjured control levels did not show any progressive degeneration and maintained their normal state.
Based on MR imaging and histopathological findings, the authors demonstrated and characterized a reliable model of sequential disc degeneration in miniature pigs with percutaneous injury to the annulus fibrosus. In the early stages, as soon as 5 weeks after injury, significant disc degeneration was seen on MR imaging grading with decreases in disc height. This degeneration did not improve by the final time point of 39 weeks.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that blocking the endplate nutritional pathway with bone cement did not result in obvious intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) in mature animal models. However, there are very few comparable studies in immature animal models. As vertebroplasty currently is beginning to be applied in young, even biologically immature patients, it is important to investigate the effect of cement blocking at the endplate in an immature animal model. Two lumbar intervertebral discs in eight immature pigs were either blocked by cement in both endplate pathways or stabbed with a scalpel in the annulus fibrosus (AF) as a positive control, and with a third disc remaining intact as a normal control. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histology study were performed. After three months, the cement-blocked discs exhibited severe IDD, with the percentage of disc-height index (DHI), nucleus pulposus (NP) area, and NP T2 value significantly lower than the normal control. These IDD changes were histologically confirmed. Post-contrast MRI showed diseased nutritional diffusion patterns in the cement-blocked discs. Moreover, the degenerative changes of the cement-blocked discs exceeded those of the injured AF positive controls. The endplate nutritional pathway was interfered with and diseased after three months of bone cement intervention in an immature porcine model. Severe interference in the endplate nutritional pathway in an immature porcine model caused IDD. These findings also draw attention to the fact that interference in endplate nutritional pathways in immature or young patients may affect the vitality of adjacent discs.
    International Orthopaedics 03/2014; · 2.32 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Experimental study. To compare the effects of fusionless instrumentation (FI) and instrumented fusion (IF) on the adjacent segment in an immature pig model. Observations reveal proximal junctional kyphosis after FI. Possible reasons are stress concentration, repeated distractive forces, and/or soft tissue damage done in the index surgery. It was speculated that FI can decrease stressors to the junctional area by preserving the spinal mobility in some manner; however, this has not been proven to date. Thirteen piglets of 10- to 14-week age were used. FI and IF were performed on 7 and 3 piglets, respectively, and 3 piglets formed the control group. Control piglets did not undergo any surgical procedures. T11-L4 instrumentation, decortication, and grafting were applied to IF piglets. In FI groups, however, L1-L2 was left uninstrumented and unfused using T11-T12 and L3-L4 levels as anchors to the growing construct. A total of 4 lengthening procedures were performed: 1 in the index operation and 3 more, once in each lengthening procedure monthly, for 3 months. Four months after the index operations, all piglets were killed and the adjacent segment motion capabilities, disc, and facets were evaluated with radiographical, magnetic resonance imaging, biomechanical, and histological analyses. Comparison of proximal junctional Cobb angles of the postindex (mean: 21, range: 17-27) and presacrification (mean: 21, range: 11-31) radiographs in the FI group revealed no difference (P> 0.05). In magnetic resonance imaging, both surgical group proximal adjacent discs showed degeneration to some degree that was statistically indifferent (P = 0.903). Biomechanical evaluation revealed restriction of adjacent segment motion in all directions for both groups; however, this negative effect was significantly less in FI group (P < 0.01). Degeneration observed in histological evaluation in adjacent discs and facets of FI group was significantly lower (P = 0.00). In this quadruped straight spine model, in comparison with IF applications, FI is closer to normal physiology even after several lengthening procedures regarding the adjacent segment discs, facet joints, and motion, when interpreting the radiological, biomechanical, and histological results altogether.
    Spine 12/2013; 38(25):2156-2164. · 2.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) contains growth factors and creates a 3D structure upon clotting; PRP or platelet lysate (PL) might be considered for annulus fibrosus (AF) repair. Bovine AF cells were cultured with 25 % PRP, 50 % PRP, 25 % PL, 50 % PL, or 10 % FBS. After 2 and 4 days, DNA, glycosaminoglycan (GAG), and mRNA levels were analyzed. Histology was performed after injection of PRP into an AF defect in a whole disc ex vivo. By day 4, significant increases in DNA content were observed in all treatment groups. All groups also showed elevated GAG synthesis, with highest amounts at 50 % PL. Collagen I and II expression was similar between groups; aggrecan, decorin, and versican expression was highest at 25 % PL. Injection of PRP into the AF defect resulted in an increased matrix synthesis. Platelet-rich preparations increased the matrix production and cell number and may therefore be considered to promote AF repair.
    European Spine Journal 01/2014; · 2.47 Impact Factor