Posted on the OSN SuperSite July 1, 2008
Stem cells show promise for repair of macular holes
HONG KONG — Transplantation of a patient’s own bone marrow stem cells showed promise in the repair of macular holes, a surgeon said here.
“We have entered into a new era,” Raj Vardhan Azad, MD, FRCS, FAMS, said at the World Ophthalmology Congress. “The technique of transplantation of bone marrow [stem] cells in the subretinal space is safe with no side effects and is a new concept.” In this study, 10 patients who had previously failed macular hole surgery underwent bone marrow aspiration from the iliac crest and intravitreal implantation of those stem cells into their retina.
“We thought that this was something that could give us a benefit in the sense that it may close the hole and also increase the visual acuity,” Dr. Azad said.
Preoperatively, the mean best corrected visual acuity of the patients was 6/60 and the mean optical coherence tomography measurement was 792 µm. At 1 week postop, BCVA was 4/60. At 3 months postop, BCVA was 6/60 and the OCT measurement was 629 µm. Dr. Azad presented the OCT images that showed the macular hole had closed or become smaller in the 10 patients, who had stable vision.
“Experimental evidence following intravitreal implantation of bone marrow stem cells indicates integration and proliferation of stem cells into different retinal layers,” Dr. Azad said. “Clinical evidence, as shown in our study, indicates that it is safe. However, further studies with large same size are required.”
For more information on stem cells:
Learn the facts! How can Stem Cell Therapy help in the Treatment of Eye Disease?