Study Design. A relative risk assessment was performed to determine the saf
ety of three commercially available Grafton demineralized bone matrix quant
ities used in athymic rats.
Objective. To evaluate the possible dose-dependent adverse effects of a com
mercially available demineralized bone matrix containing glycerol.
Summary of Background Data. Commercially available Grafton demineralized bo
ne matrix contains glycerol. The toxic effects of glycerol leading to acute
renal failure have been documented. The toxicity of this glycerol-containi
ng substance in higher doses has not been reported.
Methods. Three doses of Grafton putty were implanted in the upper hind limb
muscles of athymic nude rats. The rats were observed for adverse effects a
nd early death. Histologic studies were performed.
Results. All eight of the rats implanted with the highest dose of Grafton p
utty (0.008 mL/g) died, five of them within 12 hours of implantation and th
ree in 48 to 72 hours. One rat with the intermediate dose (0.004 mL/g) died
within 12 hours of implantation. By 72 hours after implantation, three of
the six rats (50%) with the intermediate dose had died. All six of the rats
receiving the lowest dose (0.002cc/g) survived. The median lethal dose of
Grafton putty in athymic rats was estimated to be 0.00469 mL/g body weight.
Histologic analysis of the animals that received the high dose showed acut
e tubular necrosis, probably secondary to rhabdomyolysis.
Conclusions. In athymic rats, large amounts of Grafton putty lead to death
in a dose-dependent manner. Because the median lethal doses of Grafton putt
y (0.00469 mL/g) and glycerol (0.00442 mL/g) are comparable, a potential so
urce of toxicity is the glycerol contained in the material. The results of
this study suggest that high doses have the potential to cause acute renal
failure. The authors suggest that clinical usage of Grafton putty in humans
should be limited to no more than 2 mL/kg body weight of this material.