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19.05.2015 | Knee | Ausgabe 5/2016

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 5/2016

Autologous chondrocyte implantation: Is it likely to become a saviour of large-sized and full-thickness cartilage defect in young adult knee?

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy > Ausgabe 5/2016
Chi Zhang, You-zhi Cai, Xiang-jin Lin
Wichtige Hinweise
Chi Zhang and You-zhi Cai have contributed equally to this work.



A literature review of the first-, second- and third-generation autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) technique for the treatment of large-sized (>4 cm2) and full-thickness knee cartilage defects in young adults was conducted, examining the current literature on features, clinical scores, complications, magnetic resonance image (MRI) and histological outcomes, rehabilitation and cost-effectiveness.


A literature review was carried out in the main medical databases to evaluate the several studies concerning ACI treatment of large-sized and full-thickness knee cartilage defects in young adults.


ACI technique has been shown to relieve symptoms and improve functional assessment in large-sized (>4 cm2) and full-thickness knee articular cartilage defect of young adults in short- and medium-term follow-up. Besides, low level of evidence demonstrated its efficiency and durability at long-term follow-up after implantation. Furthermore, MRI and histological evaluations provided the evidence that graft can return back to the previous nearly normal cartilage via ACI techniques. Clinical outcomes tend to be similar in different ACI techniques, but with simplified procedure, low complication rate and better graft quality in the third-generation ACI technique.


ACI based on the experience of cell-based therapy, with the high potential to regenerate hyaline-like tissue, represents clinical development in treatment of large-sized and full-thickness knee cartilage defects.

Level of evidence


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