This study shows the clinical data of one year follow-up of 14 patients with advanced stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP) who received subretinal adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stem cell (ADMSC) implantation and focuses on complications of the therapy.


All patients had total visual field defects and 7 of them only had light perception. The best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in the study was 20/2000. All patients had undetectable electroretinography (ERG). The worse eye of the patient was operated and after total vitrectomy with 23 gauge, ADMSCs were injected subretinally.


None of them had systemic complications. Eight patients had no ocular complications. One of the patients experienced choroidal neovascular membrane (CNM) and received intravitreal anti-VEGF drug. The first operated six patients had epiretinal membrane (ERM) with localized peripheral tractional retinal detachment at the periphery which required second vitrectomy. Mild band keratopathy developed in one of these patients after six months and retrolental fibrous tissue was found in another patient after 12 months. Four patients experienced visual acuity improvement during the first year.


Stem cell treatment with subretinal implantation of ADMSCs seems to have some ocular complications and should be applied with caution. The results of this study provide the first evidence of the medium-term safety of ADMSCs in human and clarifies the complications of the therapy which would be beneficial for future studies. To optimize the cell delivery technique and to evaluate the effects of this therapy on visual acuity and the quality of life of these patients, future studies with larger number of cases will be necessary.


Ayse Oner, Zeynep Burcin Gonen, Duygu Gulmez Sevim, Neslihan Sinim, Mustafa Cetin, Yusuf Ozkul
Erciyes University Medical Faculty
Email : ayseozoner@gmail.com
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