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Stem Cells Dev. 2006 Feb;15(1):136-7.

Intradiscal injection of hematopoietic stem cells in an attempt to rejuvenate the intervertebral discs.

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MicroSpine Center, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435, USA.


This study is a prospective analysis of 10 patients who underwent intradiscal injection of hematopoietic precursor stem cells (HSCs) obtained from their pelvic bone marrow in an attempt to rejuvenate the disc. Several studies in animals express the ability to regrow disc tissue with possible regenerative effects. No human studies have been done to date. Patients were randomly offered the option of this study, and ten patients with confirmed disc pain via provocative discograms underwent intradiscal HSC injections. After the intradiscal injection of HSCs, all of the patients underwent a 2-week course of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. These patients were followed up at 6- and 12- month intervals to determine their degree of pain relief from this procedure. Of the 10 patients, none achieved any improvement of their discogenic low back pain after 1 year. In conclusion, although animal studies suggest possible regeneration of disc via HSC injections, living human studies reveal that this effect does not correlate with reduced pain, and thus intradiscal HSC injection appears to be of little value.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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