Evaluation of the use of autologous micro-fragmented adipose tissue in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: preliminary results of a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Articular cartilage injuries are still unsolved due to the limited intrinsic healing potential of this tissue. Unlike other tissues, inflammation in the synovial joint causes perpetual damage and progressively leads to the development of osteoarthritis. Previous in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cells isolated from adipose tissue in modulating inflammation. In this study, we analyzed the role of these cells in modifying the pathological microenvironment present in knee osteoarthritis. This is an interventional, prospective, randomized, controlled study. Starting from June 2017, 39 patients with grade III and IV knee osteoarthritis of Kellgren-Lawrence were enrolled, aged between 45 and 75 years, with pain greater than or equal to 6 according to the VAS scale, without ligament instability, with an axial deviation not greater than 10° and with a BMI between 18 and 30. The control group underwent an arthroscopic debridement, while the experimental group underwent an arthroscopic debridement and a subsequent intra-articular injection of autologous micro-fragmented adipose tissue. Patients were evaluated before surgery and at 6 months after the procedure, by radiological analysis (MRI) and functional outcome measures. The main purpose of the study is to evaluate the symptomatic improvement by comparing the functional outcome scores between the two groups. At 6 months after treatment, preliminary results on 39 patients showed pain reduction and functional improvements in the experimental group without a significant difference due to the low number of patients. The radiological and biochemical analyses are still ongoing. To date, the study has not revealed any side effects. These preliminary results demonstrate an encouraging positive trend in the experimental group. Patient recruitment is still ongoing to finalize the statistical analyses and to confirm our hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-199
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Volume32
Issue number6 Suppl. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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