Stem Cells for Tendon Repair

Findings from the RVC indicate that stem cell therapy for superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) injury can significantly reduce the rate of re-injury over a three year period compared to conventionally treated horses.
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Preliminary results from a collaborative study conducted by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the Japan Racing Association (JRA) indicate further support for the use of bone marrow-derived stem cells in the treatment of equine tendon injuries. Findings from the RVC indicate that stem cell therapy for superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) injury can significantly reduce the rate of re-injury over a three year period compared to conventionally treated horses.

The JRA collaboration analyses the properties of tendon injuries treated with stem cells.

The most frequently injured tendon in the horse is the SDFT. With conventional treatment the tendon will heal with a fibrous scar, which impairs tendon elasticity. This results in reduced performance and a substantial risk of re-injury.

Early outcome measurements to determine SDFT stiffness have indicated that tendons treated with stem cells show greater elasticity, more normal cellularity, vascularity, and organization on blind-scored assessments than those treated with a placebo

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