Stromal vascular fraction (SVF) can easily be obtained from a mini-lipoaspirate procedure of fat tissue and platelet rich plasma (PRP) can be obtained from peripheral blood. We evaluated the safety and preliminary efficacy of administering SVF and PRP intra-articularly into patients with osteoarthritis grade 1 and 2.
A total of ten patients underwent a local tumescent liposuction procedure to remove approximately 100 ml of fat tissue from the abdomen. SVF was isolated using an enzyme digestion and resuspended in PRP for intra-articular injection in the knee. The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) score and six-minute walk distance (6MWD) were used to evaluate clinical effects and included measure of patient’s subjective assessment of pain, joint mobility, and physical disability. WOMAC score, 6MWD and laboratory tests were repeated at 3 and 6 months and 1, 1.5 and 2 years. XRAY and MRI were completed at 1 year.
The average total WOMAC score was 64 at baseline and significantly reduced to 52 at 3 months, 46 at 6 months, 42 at 1 year, 38 at 1.5 years, and 41 at 2 years. Patients walked an average of 1310 feet at baseline and demonstrated a statistically significant improvement at 3 and 6 months and 1, 1.5, and 2 years post treatment. Cartilage thickness as determined by MRI improved by at least 0.2 mm in six patients, was unchanged in two patients and decreased by at least 0.2 mm in two patients.
Overall, all of the patients were pleased with the treatment results. They reported a reduction in pain levels, especially after 3 months. More importantly, the procedure demonstrated a strong safety profile with no severe adverse events or complications reported. Trial registration NCT03089762; Name of registry: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov.