Document Type




Publication Date



AME Publishing Company

Source Publication

Journal of Spine Surgery

Source ISSN




The objective of this study was to evaluate the host response to an interspinous process device [Device for Intervertebral Assisted Motion (DIAM®)] based on a series of nine spine explants with a mean post-operative explant time of 35 months.


Explanted periprosthetic tissues were processed for histology and stained with H&E, Wright-Giemsa stain, and Oil Red O. Brightfield and polarized light microscopy were used to evaluate the host response to the device and the resultant particulate debris. The host response was graded per ASTM F981-04. Quantitative histomorphometry was used to characterize particle size, shape, and area per ASTM F1877-05. The presence or absence of bone resorption was also evaluated when bony tissue samples were provided.


Periprosthetic tissues demonstrated a non-specific foreign body response composed of macrophages and foreign body giant cells to the DIAM® device in most of the accessions. The foreign body reaction was not the stated reason for explantation in any of the accessions. Per ASTM F981-04, a “very slight” to “mild” to “moderate” chronic inflammatory response was observed to the biomaterials and particulate, and this varied by tissue sample and accession. Particle sizes were consistent amongst the explant patients with mean particle size on the order of several microns. Osteolysis, signs of toxicity, necrosis, an immune response, and/or device related infection were not observed.


Cyclic loading of the spine can cause wear in dynamic stabilization systems such as DIAM®. The fabric nature of the DIAM® device’s polyethylene terephthalate jacket coupled with the generation of polymeric particulate debris predisposes the device to a foreign body reaction consisting of macrophages and foreign body giant cells. Although not all patients are aware of symptoms associated with a foreign body reaction to a deeply implanted device, surgeons should be aware of the host response to this device.


Published version. Journal of Spine Surgery, Vol. 5, No. 4 (December 2019) : 483-495. DOI. © 2019 AME Publishing Company. Used with permission

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