One of the defining features of the liver is the capacity to maintain a constant size despite injury. Extrahepatic stem cells especially bone marrow-derived stem cells are thought to undertake an important role in liver repopulation. This study was carried out to evaluate the outcome of autologous bone marrow-derived hepatocytes transplantation in patients with end-stage liver cell failure due to chronic hepatitis C.
Forty patients were included, divided into two groups. Group I: 20 patients receiving autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells stimulated to hepatic lineage. They were subdivided into two groups regarding the route of transplantation: intrasplenic (10) and intrahepatic (10).
Group II: included 20 patients who received traditional supportive treatment. Patients were followed up using examination, laboratory investigations, abdominal ultrasonography, and evaluated by Child score, Model for End Stage Liver Disease score, fatigue scale, and performance status.
The results showed significant improvement in group I regarding ascites, lower limb edema, and serum albumin, over the control group. Group I also showed statistically significant improvement in Child score, Model for End Stage Liver Disease score, fatigue scale, and performance status over the controls. No difference was observed between intrahepatic and intrasplenic groups.
This study demonstrated the safety and short-term efficacy of autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell injection in liver cell failure. Further study is necessary to standardize the cell dose, determine the life span of the injected cells, and detect the appearance of long-term complications.