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Objective: The primary objective of this study was to identify adverse events associated with multiple intra-articular injections of adipose stromal cell (ASC) therapy and secondarily to objectively assess the therapeutic effect of ASC therapy for treatment of fragmented medial coronoid process (FMCP) in dogs when used as an adjuvant to standard of care (SOC) treatment. 

Background: Preliminary trials assessing autologous ASC therapy to treat osteoarthritis indicate a positive impact on clinical signs, but assessment of donated, allogeneic ASC therapy is lacking.

Evidentiary value: This prospective, randomised, controlled trial in dogs (n=30) provides objective evidence for clinical practitioners regarding ASC therapy in a naturally occurring osteoarthritic disease model.

Methods: Dogs diagnosed with FMCP and osteoarthritis were enrolled. All dogs had arthroscopic fragment removal and proximal ulnar osteotomy (PUO) and were assigned into three groups (n=10/group): 1) control group with no further treatment beyond the PUO and fragment removal (SOC), 2) PUO + autologous ASCs and 3) PUO+ allogeneic ASCs. Each dog had force platform gait analysis, Canine Brief Pain Inventory (CBPI) questionnaires, and delayed gadolinium enhanced magnetic resonance imaging scores prior to and six months after therapeutic intervention.

Results: No serious adverse events were reported in any participant. 3/10 dogs in the control group, 3/10 autologous ASC group and 7/10 allogeneic ASC group participants were assessed as successful outcomes.

Conclusion: This study provides preliminary safety data for the use of intra-articular allogeneic ASC therapy to treat osteoarthritis, and justification for larger clinical studies.

Application: Clinical practitioners considering ASC therapy within their practice are provided with additional evidence of autologous ASC therapy for osteoarthritis. Researchers committed to developing and generating effective ASC therapies are provided with safety information for allogeneic ASC, as well as identified biases important for study design.

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