Office-Based Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for the Treatment of Musculoskeletal Disease: A Systematic Review of Recent Human Studies

Luke Law, Christine L. Hunt, Andre J. Van Wijnen, Ahmad Nassr, A. Noelle Larson, Jason S. Eldrige, William D. Mauck, Mathew J. Pingree, Juan Yang, Casey W. Muir, Patricia J. Erwin, Mohamad Bydon, Wenchun Qu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: The use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in clinical applications for the treatment of musculoskeletal disease is steadily increasing in office-based practice. The so-called "first generation" of MSCs is defined as autologous stem cells that have undergone minimal manipulation and are used for a homologous purpose. Systematic reviews of the clinical trials completed to date of such MSCs enable practitioners to better understand what is currently known about the outcomes and side effects of such treatments. Study Design: A systematic review of human clinical studies of office-based MSC therapy for the treatment of painful degenerative musculoskeletal conditions. Methods: A search of the Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Scopus databases was conducted from 2006 through September 2016. Seven hundred sixty-one records were identified from database searching, and two records from reference review of included papers. Studies with human subjects that evaluated treatment of musculoskeletal disease with minimally manipulated MSCs were included. Results: Eight studies were included in this review based on selection criteria. A total of 941 patients were included, 841 of whom received cellular products, and no significant adverse events were reported. Symptomatology generally improved, though no differences were seen over controls where present. Conclusion: Support in the literature is strongest for the use of bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) injections for the treatment of knee pain, but applications of the use of BMAC and peripheral blood-derived MSCs for the treatment of hip pain, tendon pain, and disc pain have all been reported. Further research is required, with large randomized controlled trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1570-1583
Number of pages14
JournalPain Medicine (United States)
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • BMAC
  • Bone Marrow Aspirate
  • MSC
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell
  • Office-Based

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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