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Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for knee osteoarthritis: 5 years follow-up of three patients *


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease characterized by the destruction of joint cartilage. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are found in low numbers in normal cartilage, mainly in the superficial layer, acting as repairing agents. In OA, MSCs are seen in larger numbers, but act chaotic and are unable to repair the cartilage. The synovial membrane becomes inflamed and interacts with the cartilage. Transplanted MSC have the ability to normalize them, redirecting them to their normal function. In a preliminary study, we showed that MSC could improve knee OA in four patients at 6 months. This report shows their long-term follow-up at 5 years.


One patient was lost to follow-up at 2 years and three were followed for 5 years. They were aged 55, 57, 65 and 54 years, and had moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis. The worse knee of each patient was injected with 8–9 × 106 MSC.


As previously reported, all parameters improved in transplant knees at 6 months (walking time, stair climbing, gelling pain, patella crepitus, flection contracture and the visual analogue score on pain). Then, they started gradually to deteriorate, but at 5 years they were still better than at baseline. PGA (Patient Global Assessment) improved from baseline to 5 years. The better knee at baseline (no MSC), continued its progression toward aggravation and at 5 years became the worse knee.


Transplant knees were all in a rather advanced stage of OA. Earlier transplantation may give better results in long-term follow-up. This is what future studies have to demonstrate.

* 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 09-25-2017
Authors: Fereydoun Davatchi, Bahar Sadeghi Abdollahi, Mandana Mohyeddin, Behrooz Nikbin