In recent years, transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) using imipenem/cilastatin (IPM/CS) has attracted attention as a treatment for relieving osteoarthritis (OA) pain. However, IPM/CS is not approved by Japanese medical insurance for use as an embolic material. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new embolic materials for TAE to relieve OA pain. The purpose of this study was to develop a swine model of knee arthritis and embolize abnormal neovessels (ANs) using two different embolic materials. We compared the embolic effects and tissue damage in knees.
Knee arthritis was induced by intra-articular injection of papain into 12 knees in six female swine. The swine were divided into two groups of three swine each (six knees per group) for embolization of ANs in the knees with either IPM/CS or soluble gelatin sponge particles (SGSs). Three days after embolization, we compared the embolic effects using angiography and the tissue damage histopathologically.
ANs were observed in all 12 knees at 42 days after papain injection. The ANs disappeared and the patent arteries were recanalized 3 days after TAE in all 12 knees. Histopathological evaluation revealed synovitis changes, such as synovial thickening and inflammatory cell infiltration, in all 12 knees. There was no evidence of skin or muscle necrosis in either group. The appearance of ANs, recanalization of the parent arteries, and histopathological outcomes were not significantly different between the two groups.
SGSs were as safe as IPM/CS for TAE of ANs in this swine model of knee arthritis.

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