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PICO question

In horses with osteoarthritis, is mesenchymal stem cell therapy more effective at managing lameness than intra-articular corticosteroids?


Clinical bottom line

Category of research question


The number and type of study designs reviewed

Nine papers were critically reviewed; seven experimental trials and two randomised controlled double-blinded trials.

Strength of evidence

Weak to moderate

Outcomes reported

There is moderate evidence to suggest that chondrogenically induced mesenchymal stem cells combined with equine allogenic plasma have a good efficacy at reducing lameness in the short-term, in horses with mild to moderate lameness associated with osteoarthritis. However, there is no definitive evidence directly comparing mesenchymal stem cell therapy and corticosteroids, to identify if mesenchymal stem cell therapy is more effective than intra-articular corticosteroids.


In horses with mild to moderate lameness associated with osteoarthritis, there is moderate evidence to suggest that mesenchymal stem cell therapies are effective at managing lameness. However, it is undetermined whether they are more effacious than intra-articular corticosteroids.


How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision-making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.


Open Access Peer Reviewed