Treatment of Lateral Epicondylosis by Using Allogeneic Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells: A Pilot Study

Stem Cells. 2015 Oct;33(10):2995-3005. doi: 10.1002/stem.2110. Epub 2015 Aug 6.


Mesenchymal stem cell therapy is a novel regenerative approach for treating tendinopathy. Here, we evaluated the safety and efficacy of allogeneic adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (allo-ASC) in treating lateral epicondylosis (LE). Under ultrasound guidance, allo-ASCs mixed with fibrin glue were injected into the hypoechoic common extensor tendon lesions of 12 participants with chronic LE; 6 subjects each were administered 10(6) or 10(7) cells in 1 ml. Safety was evaluated at day 3 and weeks 2, 6, 12, 26, and 52 post-injection. Efficacy was assessed by measuring patients' visual analog scale (VAS) score for elbow pain, modified Mayo clinic performance index for the elbow, and by evaluating longitudinal and transverse ultrasound images of tendon defect areas after 6, 12, 26, and 52 weeks. No significant adverse effects of allo-ASC injection were observed through 52 weeks of follow-up. From baseline through 52 weeks of periodic follow-up, VAS scores progressively decreased from 66.8 ± 14.5 mm to 14.8 ± 13.1 mm and elbow performance scores improved from 64.0 ± 13.5 to 90.6 ± 5.8. Tendon defects also significantly decreased through this period. Allo-ASC therapy was thus safe and effective in improving elbow pain, performance, and structural defects for 52 weeks. This clinical study is the first to reveal therapeutic value of mesenchymal stem cell injection for treating chronic tendinopathy.

Keywords: Adipose tissue; Allograft; Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation; Tendinopathy; Tennis elbow.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Adult
  • Allografts
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Tendinopathy / pathology
  • Tendinopathy / therapy*
  • Tennis Elbow / pathology
  • Tennis Elbow / therapy*