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Cellular therapy with human autologous adipose-derived adult cells of stromal vascular fraction for alopecia areata.

BACKGROUND: Most common forms of hair loss (alopecia) are caused by aberrant hair follicle cycling and changes in hair follicle morphology. However, current treatments for alopecia do not specifically target these processes. Adipose-derived stromal vascular cells (ADSVCs) that can be harvested from fat cells are one of the latest breakthroughs in the aesthetic field. The potential use of stem cell-based therapies (SCBT) for the repair and regeneration of various tissues and organs offers a paradigm shift that may provide alternative therapeutic solutions, which can be applied to prevent hair loss. This study aimed to present clinical cases of SCBT for the treatment of alopecia areata by transplantation of ADSVCs in the scalp.

METHODS: Twenty patients (9 women and 11 men) were recruited to our retrospectively registered study. After lipoaspiration, autologous ADSVCs were generated and characterized before the injection of 4-4.7 ×  106 cells into the scalp of the patient. Hair regeneration was assessed by three clinical tests: the pull test, hair quality, and hair density.

RESULTS: All patients experienced hair regeneration, increased hair growth and decreased pull test 3 and 6 months after the treatment with ADSVCs [hair density (85.1 ± 8.7 vs 121.1 ± 12.5 hair/cm2 , P < 0.0001), hair diameter (60.5 ± 1.8 vs 80.8 ± 2.4μ, P < 0.0001) and pull-test values (4.4 ± 0.3 vs 0.8 ± 0.2, P < 0.0001), untreated versus 6 months post-operative)]. Significant variation was observed between men and women only for hair diameter. No significant differences were observed with age.

CONCLUSIONS: The obtained results prove the efficacy and the safety of the treatment, and satisfaction of the patients confirm the quality of the results.

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