Comparing the efficacy of syngeneic iliac and femoral allografts with iliac crest autograft in a rat model of lumbar spinal fusion

Christina Holmes, Benjamin D. Elder, Wataru Ishida, Alexander Perdomo-Pantoja, John Locke, Ethan Cottrill, Sheng Fu L. Lo, Timothy F. Witham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite widespread use of femoral-sourced allografts in clinical spinal fusion procedures and the increasing interest in using femoral reamer-irrigator-aspirator (RIA) autograft in clinical bone grafting, few studies have examined the efficacy of femoral grafts compared to iliac crest grafts in spinal fusion. The objective of this study was to directly compare the use of autologous iliac crest with syngeneic femoral and iliac allograft bone in the rat model of lumbar spinal fusion. Methods: Single-level bilateral posterolateral intertransverse process lumbar spinal fusion surgery was performed on Lewis rats divided into three experimental groups: iliac crest autograft, syngeneic iliac crest allograft, and syngeneic femoral allograft bone. Eight weeks postoperatively, fusion was evaluated via microCT analysis, manual palpation, and histology. In vitro analysis of the colony-forming and osteogenic capacity of bone marrow cells derived from rat femurs and hips was also performed to determine whether there was a correlation with the fusion efficacy of these graft sources. Results: Although no differences were observed between groups in CT fusion mass volumes, iliac allografts displayed an increased number of radiographically fused fusion masses and a higher rate of bilateral fusion via manual palpation. Histologically, hip-derived grafts showed better integration with host bone than femur derived ones, likely associated with the higher concentration of osteogenic progenitor cells observed in hip-derived bone marrow. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the feasibility of using syngeneic allograft bone in place of autograft bone within inbred rat fusion models and highlights the need for further study of femoral-derived grafts in fusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number410
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 15 2020


  • Allograft
  • Animal model
  • Autograft
  • Bone marrow cells
  • Spinal fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparing the efficacy of syngeneic iliac and femoral allografts with iliac crest autograft in a rat model of lumbar spinal fusion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this