Adipose-derived stem cells in orthopaedic pathologies

Federico Giuseppe Usuelli, Riccardo D'Ambrosi, Camilla Maccario, Cristian Indino, Luigi Manzi, Nicola Maffulli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction To examine the current literature regarding the clinical application of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) for the management of orthopaedic pathologies Sources of data MEDLINE,SCOPUS, CINAHL and EMBASE (1950 to April 14, 2017) were searched by two independent investigators for articles published in English. Reviews, meta-analyses, expert opinions, case reports, mini case series and editorials were excluded. Furthermore, we excluded animal studies, cadaveric studies and in vitro studies. Areas of agreement ADSCs seem to produce excellent clinical results. However, the length and modalities of follow-up in the different conditions are extremely variable. Nevertheless, it appears that the use of adipose-derived stem cells is associated with subjective and objective clinical improvements and minimal complication rates. Areas of controversy None of the studies identified is a randomized double-blinded trial, and most of the selected studies present major limitations, and different methods, confounding the results of our review. Growing points It is necessary to conduct more and better studies to ascertain whether ADSCs really play a role in orthopaedic surgery with particular attention to ADSCs harvesting method, type of administration and the conditions treated. Areas timely for developing research The current literature regarding the use of ADSCs for orthopaedic pathologies is limited. At present, long-term safety is the biggest challenge of ADSCs based regenerative medicine. Level of evidence Level IV-Study of Level I, II, III, IV

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-54
Number of pages24
JournalBritish Medical Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017


  • adipose-derived stem cells
  • injection
  • mesenchymal stem cells
  • PRP
  • regenerative medicine
  • scaffold
  • stromal vascular fraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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