Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that is characterized by the loss of cartilage. OA can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joint. The most common symptom of OA is pain, which can range from mild to severe. The exact cause of OA is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Although there is no cure for OA, there has been increasing interest in the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for the treatment of OA. MSCs are a type of cell that can differentiate into various kinds of cells, including cartilage cells. In animal studies, MSCs have been shown to improve the symptoms of OA and reduce the progression of the disease.
In OA patients, MSCs could potentially help to regenerate new cartilage, release factors that stimulate existing cartilage cells to form new cartilage and reduce joint inflammation. Clinical studies involving the use of MSCs for the treatment of OA are currently underway, and early results are promising. MSCs hold promise as a potential treatment for OA and other degenerative diseases.
A study, Assessment of clinical and MRI outcomes after mesenchymal stem cell implantation in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a prospective study, looked into using MRI to evaluate the effects of stem cell therapy on knee OA patients. The study’s aim was to investigate the clinical outcomes of MSC implantation with fibrin glue as a scaffold in patients with OA knees. The study also aimed to assess cartilage regeneration after MSC implantation by using MRI evaluation.
Results of the Study
From January 2012 to October 2012, the study was conducted involving 20 patients with cartilage lesions in their knees. These patients underwent arthroscopic implantation of mesenchymal stem cells to promote cartilage regeneration. Fibrin glue was used as a scaffold to support the MSCs. A follow-up MRI was conducted an average of 24.2 months after surgery. The patients included 11 men and 9 women, with a mean age of 57.9 years.
Patients were assessed using the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score and the Tegner activity scale. The researchers used MRI Osteoarthritis Knee Score (MOAKS) and Magnetic Resonance Observation of Cartilage Repair Tissue (MOCART) score to assess knee cartilage repair. The results of the study were extremely promising for patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis.
Before undergoing MSC implantation, patients had a mean IKDC score of 38.7 and a mean Tegner activity scale score of 2.5. The study found that both the IKDC and Tegner activity scale scores significantly improved after MSC implantation, with 12 patients reporting said that their knee improvements were excellent, eight said improvements were good, three said they were fair, and only one said it was poor. IKDC and Tegner activity scale scores had both significantly improved to 67.3 and 3.9.
The cartilage lesion grades at follow-up MRI were significantly better than the grades before undergoing treatment. For cartilage loss, 21 lesions were grade 2 or 3 before surgery, and only five lesions were grade 2 or 3 after receiving treatment. The stem cells were able to reduce the amount of cartilage loss in patient knees.
For full-cartilage thickness, 23 lesions were grade 2 or 3 before surgery, and that number dropped to five lesions at the follow up. Patients saw an improvement in the thickness of their knee cartilage. There was a significant improvement in the MOCART scores from preoperative values to postoperative values. At the follow-up, the mean MOCART score was 69.8.
The researchers found that there was a significant correlation between the MOCART score and clinical outcomes. The study also found that the quality of patient cartilage was positively correlated with the IKDC score and Tegner activity scale. If the cartilage in patient knees improves, then patients will see similar improvements in their clinical outcomes.
The study showed encouraging clinical outcomes of MSC implantation with fibrin glue as a scaffold in OA knees. The study showed the potential of stem cell therapy. Patient knees saw cartilage regeneration after undergoing stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapy may be an effective treatment to repair cartilage lesions for patients with knee osteoarthritis.
This promising treatment option offers hope for those suffering from the disabling effects of OA. The study provides preliminary evidence that MSC implantation with fibrin glue may be a safe and effective treatment for cartilage lesions in OA knees. Researchers have more work to perform to confirm these findings.