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Stem Cell Transplant Effective for Knee Osteoarthritis

Most significant pain relief see with adipose‐derived and umbilical cord‐derived stem cells at different postoperative months

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Stem cell transplantation is an effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis (KOA), with different stem cells effective for alleviating pain and restoring function, according to a review published online Nov. 22 in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

Rong-hui Xie, from Jiujiang First People’s Hospital in China, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on stem cell therapy for KOA to explore the curative effect of different stem cells. A total of 16 studies with 875 KOA patients were analyzed.

The researchers found that from the third month onward, stem cell treatment showed significant reduction in visual analog scale scores. At different postoperative months, the most significant pain relief came from adipose‐derived and umbilical cord‐derived stem cells. Better pain alleviation was seen for autologous tissue versus allogeneic tissue. However, there was no increase in pain relief observed for autologous versus allogeneic bone marrow stem cells. No effect was seen for combination therapy (hyaluronic acid and/or platelet-rich plasma). The most effective recovery of knee joint function was seen for autologous adipose-derived stem cells. No significant difference between the stem cell group and control was seen in Whole‐Organ Magnetic Resonance Imaging Score assessment.

“These results suggested the great potential of mesenchymal stromal cell therapy in the treatment of KOA,” the authors write.

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