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Knee Surg Relat Res. 2018 Sep;30(3):206-214. English. Meta-Analysis.
Shin YS , Yoon JR , Kim HS , Lee SH .
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Veterans Health Service Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Chonbuk Research Institute of Nursing Science, College of Nursing, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea.
Department of Nursing Science, College of Nursing, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea.


Bone marrow (BM) is frequently used as a source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) because they have a high potential for differentiation. However, it is unclear whether BM-derived MSCs lead to better clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) outcomes postoperatively.

Materials and Methods

This meta-analysis compared the clinical and MRI outcomes in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) treated with BM-derived MSCs. Eight studies comparing the clinical and MRI outcomes assessed with various measurement tools in patients with knee OA treated with BM-derived MSCs were included.


The range of motion (95% confidence interval [CI], −13.05 to 4.24; p=0.32) and MRI outcomes (95% CI, −0.16 to 1.40; p=0.12) did not differ significantly between the baseline and final follow-up. In contrast, pain (95% CI, 0.89 to 1.87; p < 0.001) and functional outcomes (95% CI, 0.70 to 2.07; p < 0.001) were significantly improved at the final follow-up when compared to the baseline.


This meta-analysis found no significant difference in the tested range of motion and MRI outcomes between the baseline and the final follow-up in patients treated with BM-derived MSCs, whereas significant functional improvement and pain relief were noted when compared with the baseline. Thus, BM-derived MSCs appear to be a viable alternative for patients with knee OA, although long-term and high-quality randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm the clinical benefits.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.