Spinal fusion procedures in the adult and young population: a systematic review on allogenic bone and synthetic grafts when compared to autologous bone

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Abstract

This systematic review aims to compare clinical evidences related to autologous iliac crest bone graft (ICBG) and non-ICBG (local bone) with allografts and synthetic grafts for spinal fusion procedures in adult and young patients. A systematic search was carried out in three databases (PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) to identify clinical studies in the last 10 years. The initial search retrieved 1085 studies, of which 24 were recognized eligible for the review. Twelve studies (4 RCTs, 5 prospective, 3 retrospective) were focused on lumbar spine, 9 (2 RCTs, 2 prospective, 4 retrospective, 1 case-series) on cervical spine and 3 (1 RCT, 2 retrospective) on spinal fusion procedures in young patients. Calcium phosphate ceramics, allografts, bioglasses, composites and polymers have been clinically investigated as substitutes of autologous bone in spinal fusion procedures. Of the 24 studies included in this review, only 1 RCT on cervical spine was classified with high level of evidence (Class I) and showed low risk of bias. This RCT demonstrated the safety and efficacy of the proposed treatment, a composite bone substitute, that results in similar and on some metrics superior outcomes compared with local autograft bone. Almost all other studies showed moderately or, more often, high incidence of bias (Class III), thus preventing ultimate conclusion on the hypothesized beneficial effects of allografts and synthetic grafts. This review suggests that users of allografts and synthetic grafting should carefully consider the scientific evidence concerning efficacy and safety of these bone substitutes, in order to select the best option for patient undergoing spinal fusion procedures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 25 2020

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