Background: Injection of autologous mesenchymal stem cells (AMSCs) as stromal vascular
fraction, culture expanded adipose derived stem cells, minimally manipulated fat graft, bone
marrow aspirate or cultured bone marrow MSCs, for osteo- and inflammatory arthritis have shown
good clinical efficacy in many studies. Questions have been raised as to their safety despite no evidence
known to us that they are unsafe when used this way. We hypothesized that AMSC injections
are completely safe for the treatment of arthritis.
Methods: A PubMed literature search was performed to identify adverse events specifically related
to the injection of autologous mesenchymal or hematopoietic stem cells into arthritic joints or intravenously.
Results: 2,011 reported injections were found. No stem cell specific adverse events were identified.
Specifically no infections, tumorigenesis, or chondrolysis from collagenase were found.
Conclusion: Intra-articular injection of autologous mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of
arthritis is completely safe with no stem cell specific adverse events yet documented, and no increased
risk compared with other traditional treatments for arthritis.