Percutaneous injection of autologous, culture-expanded mesenchymal stem cells into carpometacarpal hand joints: a case series with an untreated comparison group.

Centeno CJ, D Freeman M.

Wien Med Wochenschr. 2013 Aug 15.



Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) show promising clinical potential as multipotent therapeutic agents in regenerative medicine, including a number of orthopedic applications.  Objective: To study the possible value of MSC’s injected intra-articular in patients with carpometecarpal (CMC) joint and hand osteoarthritis (OA).


This is a prospective, case series with an untreated control that was obtained through a convenience sample. Patients underwent a bone marrow aspiration with isolation and culture expansion of MSC’s using a serum free, autologous platelet lysate. Autologous MSC’s were injected intra-articular utilizing imaging guidance. Percentage improvement, functional and visual analog scale data was collected via survey at pre-procedure, 3 months, 6 months, and annually.


Six OA patients and four controls were recruited. The mean reported pain relief was significantly higher +60% in the thumb OA group (n=6, p=.032) than in the control -18.75% (n=4). The average time reporting was 11.83 +/- 5.70 months and 9.55 +/- 6.49 months for both groups, respectively. On average, a greater than 30% reduction were observed in all VAS scale metrics (n=5), average reporting time was 13 +/-5.52 months. The majority of patients (66.7%, n=6) reported an increase in both strength and range of motion, average reporting time was 11.83 +/- 5.7 months. No complications were reported.


Percutaneous implantation of cultured MSCs into the carpometecarpal joint was associated with patient reported improvement in pain and function that was not seen in an untreated control. In addition, all patients within this small case series reported no complications.