Abdominal fat is an easily accessible source of mesenchymal stem cells. Adding platelet-rich plasma (PRP) combines the regenerative potential of adipose stem cells (SVF) with the benefits of the growth factors in the PRP (ACP). This is a very new treatment with a lot of potential. Little published research exists so far, but the available trial results demonstrate significant improvements in pain and function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. MRI scans have also shown an increase in the cartilage thickness, thus supporting the regenerative benefits of the treatment.
The authors treated 18 patients with a diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the knee with ACP-SVF. This combines the benefits of adipose tissue derived stem cells (SVF) with the effect of platelet-rich plasma (PRP/ACP). 3 months following the procedure the authors reported improvements in pain, stiffness and function. There were no adverse reactions. The authors concluded: We believe ACP-SVF is safe and provides quantifiable benefits for pain relief and functional improvement in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.
At the Orthobiologics Clinic we like the fact that harvesting adipose cells from the abdomen is much easier, less painful and less invasive than harvesting bone marrow from the pelvis. Combining the benefits of adipose derived regenerative cells with the benefits of platelet-rich plasma results in a very potent treatment for patients with osteoarthritis. We are looking forward to seeing the intermediate- and long-term clinical outcomes in patients treated with SVF-ACP.
The authors studied 30 patients who underwent microfracture treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. Half of these patients had additional treatment with ACP-SVF. No adverse effects were noted. After 18 months those patients who had the additional ACP-SVF injection showed significantly better results in terms of pain and function compared to those who didn't have the injection. The investigating team also noticed that patients in the ACP-SVF group showed an increase in cartilage thickness on MRI scans after 12 and 18 months.
At the Orthobiologics Clinic we feel that this research demonstrates the benefits of treatment with ACP-SVF in terms of pain, function and cartilage regeneration.
10 patients (13 knees) with osteoarthritis of the knee underwent injection treatment with ACP-SVF. All patients were followed up for 2 years including a repeat MRI scan at 1 year. The findings were:
The authors concluded that this clinical study of a combined intra-articular injection of SVF and PRP into the knee suggests a promising minimally invasive therapy for OA patients.
At the Orthobiologics Clinic we were happy to see a trial with a long 2-year follow-up, although we would have liked to see more patients enrolled. The study demonstrates the benefits from a single injection with ACP-SVF in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. We look forward to seeing more trials like this, ideally with a randomised control group.