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Long-Term Follow-Up of Crohn Disease Fistulas After Local Injections of Bone Marrow–Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells *


To assess the long-term outcome of patients treated with serial intrafistular injections of autologous bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for refractory Crohn fistulas in terms of safety and efficacy.

Starting from January 10, 2007, through June 30, 2014, clinical evaluation, calculation of the Crohn disease activity index (CDAI), therapeutic management, and documentation of adverse events in 8 of the 10 patients (5 men; median age, 37 years) who had been injected locally with MSCs were prospectively recorded for 72 months. Cumulative probabilities of fistula recurrence and medical or surgical treatment were estimated using a Kaplan-Meier method, whereas differences among the pre- and post-MSC CDAI values were calculated with the Mann-Whitney U test.


Following disease remission observed after 12 months from MSC treatment (P<.001), the mean CDAI score increased significantly during the subsequent 2 years (P=.007), and was then followed by a gradual decrease, with the patients achieving remission again (P=.02) at the end of the 5-year follow-up. The probability of fistula relapse-free survival was 88% at 1 year, 50% at 2 years, and 37% during the following 4 years, and the cumulative probabilities of surgery- and medical-free survival were 100% and 88% at 1 year, 75% and 25% at 2, 3, and 4 years, and 63% and 25% at 5 and 6 years, respectively. No adverse events were recorded.


Locally injected MSCs constitute a safe therapy that rescues refractory patients and regains responsiveness to drugs previously proved ineffective.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 11-03-2017
Authors: Rachele Ciccocioppo MD, Alessandra Gallia MD, Adele Sgarella MD, Peter Kruzliak MD, PhD, Paolo G.Gobbi MD, Gino Roberto Corazza MD
Source: Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Volume 90, Issue 6, June 2015, Pages 747-755