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A Journal on Neurosurgery


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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2016 June;60(2):256-71

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Assessment of outcome following the use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 for spinal fusion in the elderly population

Faris SHWEIKEH 1, George HANNA 1, Lee BLOOM 1, 2, Eli T. SAYEGH 1, 3, John LIU 4, Frank L. ACOSTA Jr 4, Doniel DRAZIN 1

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA; 2 College of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, OH, USA; 3 Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA; 4 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA


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INTRODUCTION: Although the use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) for spinal fusion has been fairly studied in the general population, relatively little research has been conducted on its use in the elderly patient demographic despite this population’s growth. The authors sought to examine the clinical efficacy, complication rate, and cost-effectiveness of rhBMP-2 use in elderly patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: We conducted a systematic review of the published literature for elderly patients that underwent spinal fusion surgery with the use of rhBMP-2. A systematic search was performed utilizing the PUBMED and MEDLINE databases in order to identify all papers dealing with recombinant human Bone Morphogenic Protein-2 use in patients over the age of 60 years.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Twenty-five papers were identified that met our inclusion criteria. While successful fusion, improvement in pain, and improved quality of life were encountered in elderly patients who were treated with fusions surgery along with rhBMP-2, there were several complications that were encountered including seroma formation, pleural effusions, and bone non-union.
CONCLUSIONS: The literature demonstrated that BMP serves as a potent osteoinductive agent in the elderly with similar efficacy to bone autograft. Although use of BMP showed mixed results and had higher initial costs, when taken into account with complication correction and costs, BMP usage appears to be more economically beneficial overall. Future studies are needed to clarify the clinical significance of the complications encountered in elderly patients treated with rhBMP-2. Future research can assist in developing recommendations which can minimize these risks in the elderly patient demographic.

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Cite this article as

Shweikeh F, Hanna G, Bloom L, Sayegh ET, Liu J, Acosta FL Jr., et al. Assessment of outcome following the use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 for spinal fusion in the elderly population. J Neurosurg Sci 2016 June;60(2):256-71. 

Corresponding author e-mail

ddrazin@gmail.com