Partial Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tears Treated with Stem Cell and Platelet-Rich Plasma Combination Therapy in 36 Dogs: A Retrospective Study

Front Vet Sci. 2016 Dec 14:3:112. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2016.00112. eCollection 2016.


Objective: To evaluate outcomes in 36 dogs with a partial cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tear treated with autologous bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) or adipose-derived progenitor cells (ADPC) with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) combination.

Materials and methods: Medical records of client-owned dogs diagnosed with an early partial (≤50%) tear of the craniomedial band of the CCL that was treated with BMAC-PRP or ADPC-PRP were reviewed from 2010 to 2015. Signalment, medical history, physical and orthopedic examination, objective temporospatial gait analyses, radiographs, day 0 and day 90 diagnostic arthroscopy findings, treatment, and outcome were among the data collected. A functional owner questionnaire, including the validated Helsinki chronic pain index (HCPI), was sent to owners whose dog was known to not have had a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO). Statistical analysis was performed on data, where significance was established at p < 0.05.

Results: Stifle arthroscopy findings at 90 days posttreatment were available on 13 of the 36 dogs. In nine dogs, a fully intact CCL with marked neovascularization and a normal fiber pattern was found with all previous regions of disruption healed. One dog revealed significant improvement and received an additional injection. The remaining three dogs had a >50% CCL tear, and a TPLO was performed. Four additional dogs were known to have had a TPLO performed elsewhere. Baseline and day 90 posttreatment objective gait analyses were available on 11 of the 36 dogs. A significant difference was found between the treated limb total pressure index percent (TPI%) at day 0 and day 90 (p = 0.0124), and between the treated limb and contralateral limb TPI% at day 0 (p = 0.0003). No significant difference was found between the treated limb and contralateral limb TPI% at day 90 (p = 0.7466). Twelve questionnaires were returned, of which eight were performance/sporting dogs. Seven of the eight had returned to sport; the remaining dog had just begun a return to sport conditioning program 6 months posttreatment. All 12 respondents believed that their dog had an excellent or very good quality of life and rated their dog's procedural outcome as excellent or good.

Conclusion: The use of BMAC-PRP and ADPC-PRP shows promise for the treatment of early partial CCL tears in dogs. Further studies are needed and should be randomized, blinded, and controlled.

Keywords: adipose-derived progenitor cells; anterior cruciate ligament tear; bone marrow aspirate concentrate; cranial cruciate ligament tear; mesenchymal stem cells; platelet-rich plasma; regenerative therapy.