Autologous adipose tissue-derived stromal vascular fraction cells application in patients with osteoarthritis
Stromal vascular fraction (SVF), containing large amount of stem cells and other regenerative cells, can be easily obtained from loose connective tissue that is associated with adipose tissue. Here we evaluated safety and clinical efficacy of freshly isolated autologous SVF cells in a case control study in patients with grade 2-4 degenerative osteoarthritis (OA). A total of 1128 patients underwent standard liposuction under local anesthesia and SVF cells were isolated and prepared for application into 1-4 large joints. A total of 1856 joints, mainly knee and hip joints, were treated with a single dose of SVF cells. 1114 patients were followed for 12.1-54.3 months (median 17.2 months) for safety and efficacy. Modified KOOS/HOOS Clinical Score was used to evaluate clinical effect and was based on pain, non-steroid analgesic usage, limping, extent of joint movement, and stiffness evaluation before and at 3, 6, and 12 months after the treatment. No serious side effects, systemic infection or cancer was associated with SVF stem cell treatment for Osteoarthritis. Most patients gradually improved 3-12 months after the treatment. At least 75% Score improvement was noticed in 63% of patients and at least 50% Score improvement was documented in 91% of patients 12 months after SVF cell therapy. Obesity and higher grade of OA were associated with slower healing. In conclusion, here we report a novel and promising treatment approach for patients with degenerative OA that is safe, cost-effective, and relying only on autologous cells.