The aim of this study was to assess the potential detrimental effects of the operating room environment on exposed healthy articular cartilage and to evaluate tissue hydration treatment strategies for preserving chondrocyte viability and extracellular matrix composition in this environment.With institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approval, femoral and tibial condyles (n = 36; 6 per specimen) were harvested from canine cadavers (n = 6) immediately after euthanasia and placed on a draped operating table under standard surgical lighting for a timed 2-hour period. Each condyle was randomly assigned to one of 6 groups (n = 6 per group): no-treatment control, hyaluronic acid (HA), saline sponge, saline drip, culture media (Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium [DMEM]) sponge, or culture media drip. Full-thickness cartilage sections were collected from each specimen immediately after harvest (time 0) and immediately after 2-hour exposure (time 2H), and processed to determine chondrocyte viability, tissue water content, and extracellular matrix composition (glycosaminoglycan [GAG] and collagen content).Chondrocyte viability was significantly lower (P = .03) after the 2-hour exposure in the control group. HA, saline sponge, and saline drip treatment groups all had significantly higher (P < .043) chondrocyte viability compared with controls at time 2H. Water content was significantly lower (P < .01) after the 2-hour exposure in the control group. Further, the water content in the control group was significantly lower than all treatment groups at time 2H (P < .001). No significant differences in tissue collagen or GAG content were observed within groups between time points or among groups at either time point.Canine articular cartilage did not demonstrate any reduction in chondrocyte viability or tissue water content at 2 hours when treated with hyaluronic acid, saline drip, saline-soaked sponge, or DMEM-soaked sponge compared with untreated exposed cartilage.Surgeons should consider the use of a hydrating solution for the treatment of exposed articular cartilage during open joint surgery of 2 hours or longer duration.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.arthro.2014.07.027
View details for Web of Science ID 000347032400024
View details for PubMedID 25260748