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Intra-articular injection of culture-expanded mesenchymal stem cells with or without addition of platelet-rich plasma is effective in decreasing pain and symptoms in knee osteoarthritis: a controlled, double-blind clinical trial

Ricardo Bastos, Marcelo Mathias, Renato Andrade, Ronaldo J F C Amaral, Vinicius Schott, Alex Balduino, Raquel Bastos, J Miguel Oliveira, Rui L Reis, Scott Rodeo, João Espregueira-Mendes
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy: Official Journal of the ESSKA 2019 October 5
31587091

PURPOSE: To compare the clinical and laboratory outcomes of intra-articular injections of culture-expanded bone-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with or without platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to intra-articular corticosteroid injections for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA).

METHODS: Forty-seven patients with radiographic and symptomatic knee OA were randomized into three groups for intra-articular injections: autologous bone marrow-derived culture-expanded MSCs (n = 16); autologous bone marrow-derived culture-expanded MSCs + PRP (n = 14); and corticosteroid (n = 17). The outcomes were assessed by the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) and range of motion (ROM) at baseline, 1, 2, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months and intra-articular cytokines analysis at baseline, 6 and 12 months postoperatively.

RESULTS: The three groups showed significant improvement in most KOOS domains and global score at 1st month and all domains and global score at 12-month follow-up (p < 0.05). At the 1st month, only the MSCs group showed significant differences in KOOS symptoms domain (p = 0.003). The MSCs and MSCs + PRP groups showed the highest percentage of improvement in most KOOS domains and global score compared to the corticosteroid group. All three groups showed a significant reduction in intra-articular levels of human interleukin-10 cytokine, from baseline to 12 months (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: An intra-articular injection of bone marrow-derived culture-expanded MSCs with or without the addiction of PRP is effective in improving the function and decreasing symptoms caused by knee OA at 12-month follow-up.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

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