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Biologic Therapies for the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis: An Updated Systematic Review

      Highlights

      • PRP in relation to NS, HA, CS, and other comparative groups remains nonsuperior given low methodology scores, variable cell preparations/techniques, and inconsistent functional and structural outcomes.
      • Studies assessing bone marrow, adipose, and amniotic stem cells demonstrated similar results, albeit with far fewer available studies.
      • These results highlight the uncertain efficacy of biologic therapies for use in knee OA.

      Abstract

      Background

      Use of “orthobiologics” continues to expand for patients who have knee osteoarthritis (OA). We sought to perform a systemic review of biologic therapies relative to comparative groups, including the following: (1) platelet-rich plasma (PRP); (2) bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs); (3) adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs); and (4) amniotic-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AMSCs). We assessed the following: (1) study methodologies; (2) cell preparations and formulations; (3) patient-reported outcome scores (PROMs); and (4) structural changes.

      Methods

      PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Embase databases were queried (2013-2021) to conduct a systematic review of biologic therapies for knee OA, according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Eighty-two studies were included: PRP (51); BMSC (15); ADSC (11); and AMSC (5). Study evaluations were made using the Modified Coleman Methodology Score. PROMs included the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index and the Visual Analog Scale. Structural change evaluations included ultrasounds, radiographs, or magnetic resonance imaging.

      Results

      PRP comprised a majority of the studies (n = 51), most with “fair” to “good” Modified Coleman Methodology Score. Studies had variable cell preparations and formulations, with comparison study results leading to inconsistent PROMs, and structural changes. A limited number of studies were included for BMSC, ADSC, and AMSC, all with similar findings to PRP.

      Conclusion

      Available literature evaluating “orthobiologics” for knee OA remain nonsuperior to comparison cohorts. Higher level studies with larger sample sizes and improved methodologies are warranted to suggest differences. Despite a growth of “orthobiologics” in clinics, this updated systematic review highlights the uncertain efficacy for use in knee OA.

      Keywords

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