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Platelet Glue May Not Improve Spinal Fusion Rates

Last Updated: June 22, 2009.

Using platelet glue, which comprises platelet gel and fibrin glue, does not improve the outcome of instrumented posterolateral lumbar fusion, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Spine Disorders & Techniques.

MONDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- Using platelet glue, which comprises platelet gel and fibrin glue, does not improve the outcome of instrumented posterolateral lumbar fusion, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Spine Disorders & Techniques.

Chun-Hao Tsai, M.D., and colleagues at the China Medical University Hospital in Taichung, Taiwan, conducted a study of 67 patients treated with instrumented posterolateral lumbar fusion with artificial bone expander and laminectomy autograft, of whom 34 were also treated with platelet glue while 33 acted as controls. The researchers assessed fusion rates and the amount of postoperative drainage.

The patients were followed up for two years and the rate of nonunion was 15 percent in the platelet glue group compared to 10 percent for the controls, the researchers found. Both groups had similar rates of fusion and postoperative blood loss, but the mean postoperative drainage was 395 mL for the platelet glue group and 362 mL for the control group, the investigators discovered.

"In the present study, the use of a platelet gel/fibrin glue composite (platelet glue) could not be proved to increase fusion rates in instrumented lumbar posterolateral fusion," the authors write. "The theoretical benefits of platelet glue were not clinically evident. Further investigation to find a more stable carrier and optimal implantation time is warranted."

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