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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A 2-year follow-up pilot study evaluating the safety and efficacy of op-1 putty (rhbmp-7) as an adjunct to iliac crest autograft in posterolateral lumbar fusions.

The ability of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) to induce bone formation has led to a multitude of investigations into their use as bone graft substitutes in spinal surgery. The purpose of this multi-center clinical pilot study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of BMP-7 (osteogenic protein 1, OP-1), in the form of a putty, combined with autograft for intertransverse process fusion of the lumbar spine in patients with symptomatic spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis following spinal decompression. Twelve patients with spinal stenosis and degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis underwent a laminectomy and partial or complete medial facetectomy as required for decompression of the neural elements, followed by an intertransverse process fusion by placing iliac crest autograft and OP-1 putty between the decorticated transverse processes. No instrumentation was used. Patients were followed clinically using the Oswestry scale and SF-36 outcome forms, and radiographically using static and dynamic radiographs to assess their fusion status over a 2-year period. Independent and blinded radiologists assessed the films for the presence of bridging bone between the transverse processes and measured translation and angulation on dynamic films using digital calipers. Radiographic outcome was compared to a historical control (autograft alone fusion without instrumentation for the treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis). All adverse events were recorded prospectively. The results showed eight of the nine evaluable patients (89%) obtained at least a 20% improvement in their preoperative Oswestry score, while five of ten patients (50%) with radiographic follow-up achieved a solid fusion by the criteria used in this study. Bridging bone on the anteroposterior film was observed in seven of the ten patients (70%). No systemic toxicity, ectopic bone formation, recurrent stenosis or other adverse events related to the OP-1 putty implant were observed. A successful fusion was observed in slightly over half the patients in this study, using stringent criteria without adjunctive spinal instrumentation. This study did not demonstrate the statistical superiority of OP-1 combined with autograft over an autograft alone historical control, in which the fusion rate was 45%. There were no adverse events related to the OP-1 putty implant in this study, which supports findings in other studies suggesting the safety of bone morphogenetic proteins in spinal surgery.[1]


  1. A 2-year follow-up pilot study evaluating the safety and efficacy of op-1 putty (rhbmp-7) as an adjunct to iliac crest autograft in posterolateral lumbar fusions. Vaccaro, A.R., Patel, T., Fischgrund, J., Anderson, D.G., Truumees, E., Herkowitz, H., Phillips, F., Hilibrand, A., Albert, T.J. European spine journal : official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society. (2005) [Pubmed]
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