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The efficacy of targeted intraarterial delivery of concentrated autologous bone marrow containing mononuclear cells in the treatment of osteonecrosis of the femoral head: A five year follow-up study *


To investigate the efficacy and safety of targeted delivery of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMCs), which are highly enriched with mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs), via medial circumflex femoral artery in the treatment of osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH).


62 patients (78 hips) with ONFH were recruited in this study. All of these patients were treated with BMMCs perfusion via medial circumflex femoral artery. The concentrated BMMCs (30–60 ml) were gained from autologous bone marrow (100–200 ml) harvested from anterior iliac crest and then were intra-arterially perfused into the femoral head. Ficat stage was used to classify the radiological stage of ONFH. Harris hip score was used to evaluate the clinical symptoms of osteonecrosis. Ficat stage and Harris hip scores were assessed at onset of treatment at 6, 12, 24, 36, 48 and 60 months after the initial treatment. Total hip arthroplasty (THA) was also assessed as an endpoint at each follow-up.


A follow-up on the patient was done at the end of five years, and 92.31% (72 of 78) of hips achieved a satisfactory clinical result while only 6 hips (7.69%) progressed to clinical failure and required THA. Radiological progression was noted in 34 of 78 hips (43.59%); the overall rate of collapse was 38.24% (26 of 68 hips) in stage-I and stage-II hip combinations and 12.5% (2 of 16) in stage-I hips and 46.15% (24 of 52) in stage-II hips. The mean time of conversion to THA was 3 years (1 to 5 years) and the average time to collapse were 3.5 years (1–5 years). The mean Harris hip score increased from 59 points at baseline to 75 points at 12 months, 82 points at 24 months, 81 points at 36 months, 79 points at 48 months and 74 points at 60 months. Five years after the treatment, 3 of 10 hips (30%) in stage-III had deteriorated to clinical failure whereas only 3 of 68 hips (4.41%) in stage-I and II combination had progressed to clinical failure (p < 0.05). Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed a significant difference in the time to failure between the pre-collapse hips (Ficat stage-I and II) and the post-collapse hips (Ficat stage-III) at five years follow-up (Log-rank test; p < 0.01). No complication was found in any patients.


Autologous BMMSC perfusion via the medial circumflex femoral artery can relieve symptoms, improve hip function and delay the progression of ONFH. The clinical outcome is better when it is applied prior to the collapse. This work demonstrates that autologous BMMSC perfusion via the medial circumflex femoral artery is a safe, effective and minimally invasive treatment strategy for early-stage ONFH.

* 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 09-29-2017
Authors: Qiang Mao, Hongting Jin, Fei Liao, Luwei Xiao, Di Chen, Peijian Tong