Document Type : Original Article
Nonunion is defined as a minimum of a 9-month period of time since an injury with no visibly progressive signs of healing for 3 months. Recent studies show that application of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in the laboratory setting is effective for bone regeneration. Animal studies have shown that MSCs can be used to treat nonunions. For the first time in an Iranian population, the present study investigated the safety of MSC implantation to treat human lower limb long bone nonunion.
Materials and Methods
It is a prospective clinical trial for evaluating the safety of using autologus bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells for treating nonunion. Orthopedic surgeons evaluated 12 patients with lower limb long bone nonunion for participation in this study. From these, 5 complied with the eligibility criteria and received MSCs. Under fluoroscopic guidance, patients received a one-time implantation of 20-50×106 MSCs into the nonunion site. All patients were followed by anterior-posterior and lateral X-rays from the affected limb, in addition to hematological, biochemical, and serological laboratory tests obtained before and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after the implantation. Possible adverse effects that included local or systemic, serious or non-serious, and related or unrelated effects were recorded during this time period.
From a safety perspective, all patients tolerated the MSCs implantation during the 12 months of the trial. Three patients had evidence of bony union based on the after implantation Xrays.
The results have suggested that implantation of bone marrow-derived MSCs is a safe treatment for nonunion. A double-blind, controlled clinical trial is required to assess the efficacy of this treatment (Registration Number: NCT01206179).