Original Article

Spinal Cord (2009) 47, 733–738; doi:10.1038/sc.2009.24; published online 31 March 2009

Stem cells in the treatment of chronic spinal cord injury: evaluation of somatosensitive evoked potentials in 39 patients

A F Cristante1, T E P Barros-Filho1, N Tatsui2, A Mendrone2, J G Caldas3, A Camargo1, A Alexandre1, W G J Teixeira1, R P Oliveira1 and R M Marcon1

  1. 1Institute of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Hospital das Clínicas, University of São Paulo School of Medicine, São Paulo, Brazil
  2. 2Hemotherapy Service, Hospital das Clínicas, University of São Paulo School of Medicine São Paulo, Brazil
  3. 3Radiology Department, Hospital das Clínicas, University of São Paulo School of Medicine São Paulo, Brazil

Correspondence: Dr AF Cristante, Institute of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Clinics Hospital, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Sao Paulo, Rua Rio Grande, 551, Ap. 41A, Rua Ovídio Pires de Campos, 333, 04018-001 São Paulo, Brazil. E-mail: aacristante@uol.com.br

Received 28 July 2008; Revised 29 December 2008; Accepted 12 February 2009; Published online 31 March 2009.

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Abstract

Study design:

 

A prospective, non-randomized clinical series trial.

Objective:

 

To evaluate the effect of autogenous undifferentiated stem cell infusion for the treatment of patients with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) on somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs).

Setting:

 

A public tertiary hospital in São Paulo, Brazil.

Methods:

 

Thirty-nine consecutive patients with diagnosed complete cervical and thoracic SCI for at least 2 years and with no cortical response in the SSEP study of the lower limbs were included in the trial. The trial patients underwent peripheral blood stem cell mobilization and collection. The stem cell concentrate was cryopreserved and reinfused through arteriography into the donor patient. The patients were followed up for 2.5 years and submitted to SSEP studies to evaluate the improvement in SSEPs after undifferentiated cell infusion.

Results:

 

Twenty-six (66.7%) patients showed recovery of somatosensory evoked response to peripheral stimuli after 2.5 years of follow-up.

Conclusion:

 

The 2.5-year trial protocol proved to be safe and improved SSEPs in patients with complete SCI.

Sponsorship:

 

None.

Keywords:

paralysis, spinal cord injuries, stem cells, central nervous system/injuries, humans