Stem cell therapy for tendon and ligament injuries in the horse - technique and outcome

Smith, R K W (2008) Stem cell therapy for tendon and ligament injuries in the horse - technique and outcome. Pferdeheilkunde, 24 (4). pp. 513-518.

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Abstract

The technique involves the collection of bone marrow from the sternum in the standing sedated horse, followed by isolation and expansion of the nucleated adherent cell population (containing the MSCs) in the laboratory. After approximately 2-3 weeks, in excess of 10x10(6) cells are available for implantation. The cells are suspended in bone marrow supernatant as this has been found to have a beneficial mix of growth factors and then implanted under ultrasonographic guidance into the core lesion of the tendon or ligament under standing sedation. The horses then enter an ascending exercise regime aimed at providing a controlled mechanically appropriate (tension) environment for the cells. Outcome data for horses followed for 3 years show a greater than 50% reduction in re-injury rate (p<0.05) for National Hunt racehorses when compared with published outcome for the some discipline of horse followed for the same period.