In Vitro Effect of Vancomycin on the Viability of Articular Chondrocytes

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Abstract

Objectives:

To characterize the in vitro toxicity of vancomycin on articular cartilage.

Methods:

Osteochondral samples extracted from fresh, juvenile porcine stifle (knee) joints were exposed to vancomycin saline concentrations of 2, 5, and 10 mg/mL and compared with a saline and nonsaline treated control. Comparison of chondrocyte viability was assessed with histology examination of chondrocyte degeneration using the Mankin criteria and a live/dead staining using ethidium homodimer-2 and calcien acetoxymethylester stain and confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Results:

A comparison of chondrocyte viability in the control sample and 2 mg/mL group showed no statistical difference (P = 0.38). The chondrocyte toxicity was statistically significantly higher in both the 5 mg/mL (P = 0.003) and 10 mg/mL (P < 0.001) experimental groups in comparison to the control sample. Chondrocyte death increased in a statistically significant dose-dependent fashion. Histologically, the Mankin scores were higher for the saline-treated group in comparison to the untreated control group.

Conclusions:

Vancomycin is toxic to articular chondrocytes in concentrations of 5 mg/mL and greater. Strategies for controlling concentration must be developed before routine application of topical antibiotics around synovial joints is performed.

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