Is autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) an adequate treatment option for repair of cartilage defects in paediatric patients?

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Articular cartilage injury is a common orthopaedic problem affecting many people including children and adolescents. The main cause for cartilage defects in the knee includes acute traumatic injuries.

Cartilage lesions in the knee of juvenile patients require an effective repair to regain life-long functional activity of the joint. Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) is discussed to be advantageous over other methods for cartilage repair regarding long-term outcome. ACI has successfully been applied in juvenile patients, although currently recommended for patients _18 years of age. Only few controlled clinical trials present evidence of efficacy and safety of ACI in adolescent patients. ACI products have to undergo the process of a marketing authorisation application, including the submission of a paediatric investigation plan (PIP). Data from prospective clinical studies or retrospective collection of long-term data in paediatric patients should be submitted for risk–benefit evaluation by the Paediatric Committee (PDCO).

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