Outcomes of autologous chondrocyte implantation in study of the treatment of articular repair (STAR) patients with osteochondritis dissecans

Brian J. Cole, Thomas Deberardino, Robert Brewster, Jack Farr, David W. Levine, Carl Nissen, Prudence Roaf, Kenneth Zaslav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background: This is an analysis of the prospective Study of the Treatment of Articular Repair (STAR) to evaluate the effectiveness of autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) in a subset of adult patients with osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) knee lesions. Hypothesis: Autologous chondrocyte implantation can improve clinical outcomes in patients with at least 1 chronic OCD lesion of the knee who failed a previous non-ACI cartilage repair treatment. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: Forty patients with at least one failed non-ACI treatment for an OCD knee lesion received ACI in a multicenter study. The modified Cincinnati Knee Rating System, the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), and the Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) were used to assess patient outcomes at baseline and periodically to 48 months. Treatment failures, serious adverse events, and subsequent surgical procedures were recorded. Results: Thirty-two (80%) patients completed the 48-month study. Autologous chondrocyte implantation treatment was successful in 85% of patients. Mean (± standard deviation) overall knee condition score (modified Cincinnati) was 3.1 ± 1.1 at baseline and 6.8 ± 2.0 at month 48. Clinically and statistically significant (P<001) mean improvements from baseline to month 48 for the KOOS were as follows: 51.5 to 79.5 (pain), 54.8 to 77.9 (symptoms), 27.5 to 63.6 (sports and recreation ability), 63.5 to 86.7 (activities of daily living), and 21.9 to 59.6 (knee-related quality of life). The mean improvement (P<001) in overall health assessed by the SF-36 was 35.4 to 45.5. Thirty-five percent (n = 14/40) of patients had a subsequent surgical procedure, most frequently debridement of the cartilage lesion. Treatment failure occurred in 6 of 32 (19%) patients. Conclusion: Patients with OCD of the knee had statistically significant pain reduction and functional improvement for up to 48 months after ACI, despite the complexity and severity of the osteochondral lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2015-2022
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Carticel
  • articular cartilage repair
  • autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI)
  • osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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