Acute and chronic MRI changes in the spine and spinal cord after surgical stem cell grafting in patients with definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Post-infusion injuries are unrelated with clinical impairment.

By London Spine
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Acute and chronic MRI changes in the spine and spinal cord after surgical stem cell grafting in patients with definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Post-infusion injuries are unrelated with clinical impairment.

Magn Reson Imaging. 2013 Jun 27;

Authors: García Santos JM, Blanquer M, Torres Del Río S, Iniesta F, Espuch JG, Pérez-Espejo MA, Martínez S, Moraleda JM

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To report MRI spinal changes after surgical infusion of bone marrow stem cells (BMSc) in ALS patients and assess their correlation with clinical events and functional performance.
METHODS: BMSc were surgically injected in the thoracic spinal cord of 11 ALS patients (6/5 male/female; median age 46years). We performed first-week and third, sixth, ninth and twelfth post-surgical months spinal MRIs. The spinal changes in the postsurgical week and follow-up MRIs, as well as clinical events, functional scales and respiratory and electromyography data, were longitudinally monitored. Correlations between the imaging and clinical data were evaluated with the Spearman’s test.
RESULTS: Transient extradural fluid collections (100%), transient spinal cord T2 hyperintensity (81.8%), and chronic spinal cord deformities (63.6%) were the dominating MRI changes. Spinal cord hemorrhages (27.3%) and cystic myelomalacia (1/11 patients) were important although unusual findings. During the follow-up, minor adverse events of mild to moderate intensity eventually improved. Initial and follow-up imaging scores showed a strongly positive correlation (r 0.879, P<0.001). The initial and delayed clinical scores did not correlate. There was no significant correlation between any of the imaging scores and clinical data.
CONCLUSIONS: Infusion of BMSc produces a variety of spinal changes apparently unrelated with clinical events and disease worsening.

PMID: 23810205 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]