Background and objectives: This study shows the clinical data of 1-year follow-up of 8 patients with degenerative macular diseases who received suprachoroidal adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stem cell (ADMSC) implantation.
Methods and results: This prospective, single-center, phase 1/2 study enrolled 8 eyes of 8 patients with degenerative macular diseases of various reasons who underwent suprachoroidal implantation of ADMSCs. All patients had severe visual field defects and severe visual loss. All patients had defective multifocal electroretinography (mf ERG). The worse eye of the patient was selected for the operation. Patients were evaluated on the first day, first month, sixth month and at 1 year postoperatively. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), anterior segment and fundus examination, color photography, optical coherence tomography (OCT) and visual field (VF) examination were carried out at each visit. Fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA) and mfERG recordings were performed at the end of the sixth months. All 8 patients completed the 1 year follow-up. None of them had any systemic or ocular complications. Seven of the patients experienced visual acuity improvement, visual field improvement and improvement in the mfERG recordings. We found choroidal thickening in OCT of the four treated eyes.
Conclusions: Even though the sample size is small, stem cell treatment with suprachoroidal implantation of ADMSCs seems to be safe and the improvements were encouraging. To optimize the cell delivery technique and to evaluate the effects of this therapy on visual acuity and the quality of life of these patients, future studies with larger number of cases will be necessary.
Keywords: Adipose tissue; Macular diseases; Mesenchymal stem cell; Suprachoroidal implantation.