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Cell Transplant. 2004;13(5):595-600.

Autologous bone marrow stromal cell transplantation for repair of full-thickness articular cartilage defects in human patellae: two case reports.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto 390-8621, Japan.


This study assessed the effectiveness of autologous bone marrow stromal cell transplantation for the repair of full-thickness articular cartilage defects in the patellae of a 26-year-old female and a 44-year-old male. These two patients presented in our clinic because their knee pain prevented them from walking normally. After thorough examination, we concluded that the knee pain was due to the injured articular cartilage and decided to repair the defect with bone marrow stromal cell transplantation. Three weeks before transplantation, bone marrow was aspirated from the iliac crest of each patient. After erythrocytes had been removed by use of dextran, the remaining nucleated cells were placed in culture. When the attached cells reached subconfluence, they were passaged to expand in culture. Adherent cells were subsequently collected, embedded in a collagen gel, transplanted into the articular cartilage defect in the patellae, and covered with autologous periosteum. Six months after transplantation, clinical symptoms (pain and walking ability) had improved significantly and the improvement has remained in effect (5 years and 9 months posttransplantation in one case, and 4 years in the other), and both patients have been satisfied with the outcome. As early as 2 months after transplantation, the defects were covered with tissue that showed slight metachromatic staining. Two years after the first and 1 year after the second transplantation, arthroscopy was performed and the defects were repaired with fibrocartilage. Results indicate autologous bone marrow stromal cell transplantation is an effective approach in promoting the repair of articular cartilage defects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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