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Stem Cells in Rotator Cuff Injuries and Reconstructions: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


Fanxiao Liu, Qingqi Meng, Heyong Yin * and Zexing Yan   Pages 1 - 15 ( 15 )


Background: Multiple studies have focused on stem cell-based treatments for rotator cuff disorders; however, the outcomes are not consistent.

Objectives: This systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the effects of stem cells on rotator cuff healing.

Methods: A detailed search of relevant studies was conducted in the three database including Pubmed/Medline, Cochrance library, and Embase databases using the following keywords: “rotator cuff” or “Tissue Engineering” AND “stem cell” from inception to January 01, 2019. The standard mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for each individual study were extracted from original studies, or calculated based on the relevant data, and pooled to obtain integrated estimates using random effects modeling.

Results: A total of 22 studies were identified. The results demonstrated that ultimate strain in the stem cell group was significantly higher than that in the control group at 4 and 8 weeks. Muscle weight in the stem cell group was higher than the control group at 8 weeks, while no significant differences were detected at 16 weeks. The stem cell group has lower visual analog scale score (VAS) at 1, 3, and 6 months, and higher American shoulder and elbow surgeons score (ASES) at 3 months. In addition, the walking distance, time, and speed in stem cell group were significant superior than those in the control group.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis confirms that stem cell improved the rehabilitation of the rotator cuff disorders. However, larger-scale studies are needed to further support these findings.


Rotator cuff, Rotator cuff disorders, Stem cell, Tissue engineering, Regenerative therap, Meta-analysis


Department of Orthopaedics, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, No.324, Road Jing Wu Wei Qi, Jinan 250021, Shandong, Department of Orthopaedics, Guangzhou Red Cross Hospital, Jinan University, Tongfu road 396, Haizhu district, Guangzhou, Department of Trauma Surgery, University of Regensburg, Am biopark 9, 93049 Regensburg, Department of Trauma Surgery, University of Regensburg, Am biopark 9, 93049 Regensburg

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