Tenogenically Induced Allogeneic Peripheral Blood Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Allogeneic Platelet-Rich Plasma: 2-Year Follow-up after Tendon or Ligament Treatment in Horses.

Abstract

Poor healing of tendon and ligament lesions often results in early retirement of sport horses. Therefore, regenerative therapies are being explored as potentially promising treatment for these injuries. In this study, an intralesional injection was performed with allogeneic tenogenically induced mesenchymal stem cells and platelet-rich plasma 5-6 days after diagnosis of suspensory ligament (SL) (n = 68) or superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) (n = 36) lesion. Clinical, lameness and ultrasonographic evaluation was performed at 6 and 12 weeks. Moreover, a survey was performed 12 and 24 months after treatment to determine how many horses were competing at original level and how many were re-injured. At 6 weeks, 88.2% of SL (n = 68) and 97.3% of SDFT lesions (n = 36) demonstrated moderate ultrasonographic improvement. At 12 weeks, 93.1% of SL (n = 29) and 95.5% of SDFT lesions (n = 22) improved convincingly. Moreover, lameness was abolished in 78.6% of SL (n = 28) and 85.7% (n = 7) of SDFT horses at 12 weeks. After 12 months (n = 92), 11.8% of SL and 12.5% of SDFT horses were re-injured, whereas 83.8 of SL and 79.2% of SDFT returned to previous performance level. At 24 months (n = 89) after treatment, 82.4 (SL) and 85.7% (SDFT) of the horses returned to previous level of performance. A meta-analysis was performed on relevant published evidence evaluating re-injury 24 months after stem cell-based [17.6% of the SL and 14.3% of the SDFT group (n = 89)] versus conventional therapies. Cell therapies resulted in a significantly lower re-injury rate of 18% [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.11-0.25] 2 years after treatment compared to the 44% re-injury rate with conventional treatments (95% CI, 0.37-0.51) based on literature data (P < 0.0001).

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