Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cartilage. 2015 Apr;6(2):62-72. doi: 10.1177/1947603514562064.

BST-CarGel® Treatment Maintains Cartilage Repair Superiority over Microfracture at 5 Years in a Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author information

  • 1Piramal Healthcare (Canada) Ltd., Laval, Quebec, Canada.
  • 2Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • 3Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • 4School of Medicine, CEU San Pablo University, Madrid, Spain.
  • 5University of Calgary Sports Medicine Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • 6Department of Orthopedics, CHA-Pavillon Enfant-Jésus, Quebec, Quebec, Canada.
  • 7Hôpital Charles LeMoyne, Greenfield Park, Quebec, Canada.
  • 8Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA.



The efficacy and safety of BST-CarGel®, a chitosan scaffold for cartilage repair was compared with microfracture alone at 1 year during a multicenter randomized controlled trial in the knee. This report was undertaken to investigate 5-year structural and clinical outcomes.


The international randomized controlled trial enrolled 80 patients, aged 18 to 55 years, with grade III or IV focal lesions on the femoral condyles. Patients were randomized to receive BST-CarGel® treatment or microfracture alone, and followed standardized 12-week rehabilitation. Co-primary endpoints of repair tissue quantity and quality were evaluated by 3-dimensional MRI quantification of the degree of lesion filling (%) and T2 relaxation times. Secondary endpoints were clinical benefit measured with WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index) questionnaires and safety. General estimating equations were used for longitudinal statistical analysis of repeated measures.


Blinded MRI analysis demonstrated that BST-CarGel®-treated patients showed a significantly greater treatment effect for lesion filling (P = 0.017) over 5 years compared with microfracture alone. A significantly greater treatment effect for BST-CarGel® was also found for repair tissue T2 relaxation times (P = 0.026), which were closer to native cartilage compared to the microfracture group. BST-CarGel® and microfracture groups showed highly significant improvement at 5 years from pretreatment baseline for each WOMAC subscale (P < 0.0001), and there were no differences between the treatment groups. Safety was comparable for both groups.


BST-CarGel® was shown to be an effective mid-term cartilage repair treatment. At 5 years, BST-CarGel® treatment resulted in sustained and significantly superior repair tissue quantity and quality over microfracture alone. Clinical benefit following BST-CarGel® and microfracture treatment were highly significant over baseline levels.


cartilage repair; chitosan; microfracture; quantitative MRI; scaffold

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center