McCarthy, HS, Tins, B, Gallacher, PD, Jermin, P, Richardson, JB, Kuiper, JH and Roberts, S (2023) Histological and Radiological Assessment of Endogenously Generated Repair Tissue In Vivo Following a Chondral Harvest. Cartilage, 14 (1). pp. 48-58. ISSN 1947-6035

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OBJECTIVE: To examine repair tissue formed approximately 15 months after a chondral harvest in the human knee. DESIGN: Sixteen individuals (12 males, 4 females, mean age 36 ± 9 years) underwent a chondral harvest in the trochlea as a pre-requisite for autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) treatment. The harvest site was assessed via MRI at 14.3 ± 3.2 months and arthroscopy at 15 ± 3.5 months (using the Oswestry Arthroscopy Score [O-AS] and the International Cartilage Repair Society Arthroscopy Score [ICRS-AS]). Core biopsies (1.8 mm diameter, n = 16) of repair tissue obtained at arthroscopy were assessed histologically (using the ICRS II and OsScore histology scores) and examined via immunohistochemistry for the presence of collagen types I and II. RESULTS: The mean O-AS and ICRS-AS of the repaired harvest sites were 7.2 ± 3.2 and 10.1 ± 3.5, respectively, with 80.3% ± 26% repair fill depth on MRI. The histological quality of the repair tissue formed was variable, with some hyaline cartilage present in 50% of the biopsies; where this occurred, it was associated with a significantly higher ICRS-AS than those with no hyaline cartilage present (median 11 vs. 7.5, P = 0.049). Collagen types I and II were detected in 12/14 and 10/13 biopsies, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate good-quality structural repair tissue formed following cartilage harvest in ACI, suggesting this site can be useful to study endogenous cartilage repair in humans. The trochlea is less commonly affected by osteoarthritis; therefore, location may be critical for spontaneous repair. Understanding the mechanisms and factors influencing this could improve future treatments for cartilage defects.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Creative Commons CC BY: this article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons attribution 4.0 license ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the Sage and Open access pages (
Uncontrolled Keywords: articular cartilage; endogenous healing; trochlea; cartilage regeneration; osteoarthritis
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R735 Medical education. Medical schools. Research
R Medicine > RB Pathology
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2023 15:22
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 14:11

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