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Fosco M.,Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute
European review for medical and pharmacological sciences

Spine surgery frequently needs allogeneic blood transfusions to compensate for great blood loss. Autologous blood donations often are indicated to reduce homologous transfusions. In last decades interbody spinal fusion has gained popularity, being frequently performed in many spine procedures. Nevertheless, there are few studies evaluating the risk factors of additional blood transfusions in the postoperative course of degenerative spine surgery and no one concerning patients who underwent interbody fusion. In 15 consecutive months, in the same Department of Spine Surgery 40 different elective spine surgeries were performed, divided into four groups: laminectomy alone, laminectomy with an instrumented posterolateral fusion, laminectomy with an instrumented posterolateral and interbody fusion, extensive instrumented fusion. All patients surgery-related data were respectively recorded: patient age, gender, diagnosis, preoperative hemoglobin rate, autologous blood availability, number of spinal level decompressed and fused, duration of surgery, type of surgical procedure, duration of hospital stay. These data were statistically analysed to determine whether variables could determine higher risk of blood transfusion. In an univariate analysis of factors influencing the need of blood transfusion, significantly greater risk of blood transfusions was observed in the female, in case of low preoperative Hb rate, longer surgical times, multiple spinal level decompressed or fused and longer duration of hospital stay. Our linear multiple regression modeling showed that patients gender and increased number of levels decompressed and levels surgically fused were significant determinants of need of blood transfusion. The practical value of this work can be particularly appreciated by those who are used to consider blood predonation. According to our findings blood predonation should preferably be proposed to women supposed to undergo spine instrumented fusion or a more than three levels spine decompression. Source

Cavallo C.,Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute
Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents

Bone marrow is one of the best characterized stem cell microenvironments that contains Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs), a rare population of non-hematopoietic stromal cells. MSCs have been indicated as a new option for regenerative medicine because of their ability to differentiate into various lineages such as bone, cartilage and adipose tissue. However, isolation procedures are crucial for the functional activity of the transplanted cells. The use of concentrated bone marrow cells (BMCs) enables a cell population surrounded by its microenvironment (niche) to be implanted while avoiding all the complications related to the in vitro culture. The cells of the niche are able to regulate stem cell behavior through direct physical contact and secreting paracrine factors. The aim of this study was to characterize BMCs in vitro to evaluate their ability to differentiate toward mature cells and try to understand whether there are differences in the chondrogenic and osteogenic potential of cells from patients of different ages. Mononuclear Cells (MNCs) isolated by Ficoll were used as control. Both cell populations were grown in monolayers and differentiated with specific factors and analyzed by histological and molecular biology assays to evaluate the expression of some specific extracellular matrix molecules. The present investigations revealed the ability of BMCs to act as isolated cells. They are able to form colonies and differentiate toward chondrogenic and osteogenic lineages, the latter pathway appearing to be influenced by donor age. The results obtained by this study support the use of BMCs in clinical practice for the repair of osteochondral damage, which might be particularly useful for the one-step procedure allowing cells to be directly implanted in operating room. Source

Fini M.,Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute
Frontiers in bioscience (Elite edition)

The burden of osteoporosis is increasing in all societies. In comparison with other organs or apparatuses fewer studies have focused on incorrect lifestyles and bone. This article reviews clinical and experimental studies on the effects of obesity, alcohol abuse and smoking on bone. Overweight and obesity protect bone, thus reducing the fracture risk and the development of osteoporosis in older adults. However, extreme obesity (body mass index more than 40 kilogram/meter squared) seems to be a risk factor for osteoporosis. Moderate alcohol consumption may have a protective effect, whereas excessive consumption is an important risk factor. Cytokines are the main mediators of the detrimental effects of obesity and alcohol. Smoking contributes to bone loss and fracture probably by interfering with estrogens, calcium and vitamin D. Health information campaigns against these harmful lifestyles should be strengthened by using available scientific information to increase awareness about their consequences on the bone. Source

Kon E.,Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute
The journal of knee surgery

Regenerative procedures aim to recreate a hyaline-like tissue, thus restoring a biologically and biomechanically valid articular surface with durable clinical results. Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) has been developed two decades ago, and both the production of a hyaline-like articular surface and a satisfactory clinical outcome have been documented at medium-long follow-up. Bioengineering technology further improved this regenerative treatment approach to include matrix-assisted ACI (MACI) techniques. These procedures have been introduced in the clinical practice one decade ago, showing similar results while at the same time overcoming most of the concerns related to the first-generation ACI. The use of scaffolds to create a cartilage-like tissue in a three-dimensional culture system allows for the optimization of the procedure from both the biological and surgical point of view. However, despite thousands of treated patients and many published studies suggesting good clinical results and durability of these procedures, the properties of healthy, normal articular cartilage are still unmatched by any available substitute. Both indications and results of these substitutes are still controversial. The role of many variables that may influence the final outcome still need to be clarified to further improve the potential benefits of these biological regenerative procedures. Source

Goldring M.B.,New York Medical College | Marcu K.B.,State University of New York at Stony Brook | Marcu K.B.,Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute
Trends in Molecular Medicine

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a multifactorial disease subject to the effects of many genes and environmental factors. Alterations in the normal pattern of chondrocyte gene control in cartilage facilitate the onset and progression of OA. Stable changes in patterns of gene expression, not associated with alterations in DNA sequences, occur through epigenetic changes, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, and alterations in chromatin structure, as well as by microRNA (miRNA)-mediated mechanisms. Moreover, the ability of the host to repair damaged cartilage is reflected in alterations in gene control circuits, suggestive of an epigenetic and miRNA-dependent tug-of-war between tissue homeostasis and OA disease pathogenesis. Herein, we summarize epigenetic and miRNA-mediated mechanisms impacting on OA progression and in this context offer potential therapeutic strategies for OA treatment. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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