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Calcium microcrystal formation in recurrent herniation patients after autologous disc cell transplantation

: Schwan, S.; Ludtka, C.; Friedmann, A.; Mendel, T.; Meisel, H.J.; Heilmann, A.; Kaden, I.; Goehre, F.


Jo'jig Gonghag gwa Jaesaeng Uihag = Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine 14 (2017), No.6, pp.803-814
ISSN: 1738-2696
ISSN: 2212-5469
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IMWS ()

Autologous disc cell transplantation (ADCT) is a cell-based therapy aiming to initiate regeneration of intervertebral disc (IVD) tissue, but little is known about potential risks. This study aims to investigate the presence of structural phenomena accompanying the transformation process after ADCT treatment in IVD disease. Structural phenomena of ADCT-treated patients (Group 1, n = 10) with recurrent disc herniation were compared to conventionally-treated patients with recurrent herniation (Group 2, n = 10) and patients with a first-time herniation (Group 3, n = 10). For ethical reasons, a control group of ADCT patients who did not have a recurrent disc herniation was not possible. Tissue samples were obtained via micro-sequestrectomy after disc herniation and analyzed by micro-computed tomography, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and histology in terms of calcification zones, tissue structure, cell density, cell morphology, and elemen tal composition. The major differentiator between sample groups was calcium microcrystal formation in all ADCT samples, not found in any of the control group samples, which may indicate disc degradation. The incorporation of mineral particles provided clear contrast between the different materials and chemical analysis of a single particle indicated the presence of magnesium-containing calcium phosphate. As IVD calcification is a primary indicator of disc degeneration, further investigation of ADCT and detailed investigations assessing each patientâs Pfirrmann degeneration grade following herniation is warranted. Structural phenomena unique to ADCT herniation prompt further investigation of the therapyâs mechanisms and its effect on IVD tissue. However, the impossibility of a perfect control group limits the generalizable interpretation of the results.