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Cerebrovasc Dis. 2005;20(2):101-7. Epub 2005 Jun 21.

Neurotransplantation of fetal porcine cells in patients with basal ganglia infarcts: a preliminary safety and feasibility study.

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Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass. 02215, USA.



Cell transplantation is safe in animal models and enhances recovery from stroke in rats.


We studied the safety and feasibility of fetal porcine transplantation in 5 patients with basal ganglia infarcts and stable neurological deficits. To prevent rejection, cells were pretreated with an anti-MHC1 antibody and no immunosuppressive drugs were given to the patients.


The first 3 patients had no adverse cell, procedure, or imaging-defined effects. The fourth patient had temporary worsening of motor deficits 3 weeks after transplantation, and the fifth patient developed seizures 1 week after transplantation. MRI in both patients demonstrated areas of enhancement remote from the transplant site, which resolved on subsequent imaging. Two patients showed improvement in speech, language, and/or motor impairments over several months and persisted at 4 years. The study was terminated by the FDA after the inclusion of 5 patients.


This is the first report on the transplantation of nontumor cells in ischemic stroke patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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