Treatment of experimental osteomyelitis with a fibrin sealant antibiotic implant

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2002 Oct:(403):58-72. doi: 10.1097/00003086-200210000-00011.


Two methods currently are available for the delivery of antibiotics: intravenous injection with a long-term indwelling catheter and local implant of antibiotic-containing polymethylmethacrylate beads. Both of these methods have significant disadvantages. A fibrin sealant implant, impregnated with tobramycin, was evaluated in a rabbit model of osteomyelitis to determine whether it has the potential of supplying a basis for bone reconstruction and providing an improved treatment method for the delivery of antibiotics to orthopaedic infections. Localized tibial osteomyelitis, with methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, was developed surgically in female New Zealand White rabbits. After 2 weeks, rabbits with evidence of osteomyelitis were treated with debridement alone, debridement plus systemic tobramycin, debridement plus fibrin sealant, debridement plus fibrin sealant loaded with tobramycin, polymethylmethacrylate beads loaded with tobramycin, or not treated at all (control). After 4 weeks of therapy, the rabbits were sacrificed and the involved bones were cultured for concentrations of methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus per gram of bone and marrow. Preliminary data (N = 14) indicate fibrin sealant plus tobramycin may be as effective as polymethylmethacrylate beads plus tobramycin against methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus osteomyelitis in a rabbit model.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Implants
  • Female
  • Fibrin Tissue Adhesive / administration & dosage*
  • Fibrin Tissue Adhesive / therapeutic use*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Osteomyelitis / drug therapy*
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate / administration & dosage
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate / therapeutic use
  • Rabbits
  • Tissue Adhesives / administration & dosage*
  • Tissue Adhesives / therapeutic use*
  • Tobramycin / administration & dosage*
  • Tobramycin / therapeutic use*
  • Vasodilator Agents / administration & dosage
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Drug Implants
  • Fibrin Tissue Adhesive
  • Tissue Adhesives
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • Tobramycin