Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical and sequential imaging follow-up results at a mean of 36 months after an arthroscopic technique for implantation of matrix-encapsulated autologous chondrocytes for the treatment of articular cartilage lesions on the femoral condyles. Methods Ten patients underwent arthroscopic implantation of autologous chondrocytes seeded onto a bioabsorbable scaffold. The patients were evaluated clinically using a visual analog scale (VAS) for pain and International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC), Lysholm, and Tegner scores. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) T2-mapping and magnetic resonance observation of cartilage repair tissue (MOCART) evaluations were also performed. Second-look arthroscopic evaluation using the International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) grading classification was performed at 12 months. Results Compared with their preoperative values, at 36 months mean values ± standard deviation for the VAS scale for pain were 6.0 ± 1.5 to 0.3 ± 0.4. Improvement in clinical scores between preoperative values and 36-month follow-up values in subjective IKDC scores was 46.9 ± 18.5 to 77.2 ± 12.8; in Lysholm scores, it was 51.8 ± 25.1 to 87.9 ± 6.5, and in the Tegner activity scale it was 2.9 ± 1.7 to 5.9 ± 1.9. Mean T2 mapping and MOCART scores improved over time to 38.1 ± 4.4 ms and 72.5 ± 10, respectively. Mean ICRS score by second-look arthroscopy at 1 year was 10.4 ± 0.1. Conclusions All clinical scores improved over time compared with the preoperative values. Clinical results are comparable with MRI T2 mapping and ICRS evaluations, suggesting that this arthroscopic technique for cell-based cartilage repair is efficacious and reproducible at a mean of 36 months of follow-up. Level of Evidence Level IV, therapeutic case series. © 2014 by the Arthroscopy Association of North America.
Ibarra, C., Izaguirre, A., Villalobos, E., Masri, M., Lombardero, G., Martinez, V., … Ibarra, L. G. (2014). Follow-up of a new arthroscopic technique for implantation of matrix-encapsulated autologous chondrocytes in the knee. Arthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery, 30(6), 715–723. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2014.02.032