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Intravenous Autologous Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cell Transplantation for Stroke: Phase1/2a Clinical Trial in a Homogeneous Group of Stroke Patients

The goal of this clinical trial was to assess the feasibility and safety of transplanting autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells into patients suffering severe embolic stroke. Major inclusion criteria included patients with cerebral embolism, age 20–75 years, National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score displaying improvement of ≤5 points during the first 7 days after stroke, and NIHSS score of ≥10 on day 7 after stroke. Bone marrow aspiration (25 or 50 mL; N = 6 patients in each case) was performed 7–10 days poststroke, and bone marrow mononuclear cells were administrated intravenously. Mean total transplanted cell numbers were 2.5 × 108and 3.4 × 108 cells in the lower and higher dose groups, respectively. No apparent adverse effects of administering bone marrow cells were observed. Compared with the lower dose, patients receiving the higher dose of bone marrow cells displayed a trend toward improved neurologic outcomes. Compared with 1 month after results, patients receiving cell displayed a trend toward improved cerebral blood flow and metabolic rate of oxygen consumption 6 months after results. In comparison with historical controls, patients receiving cell had significantly better neurologic outcomes. Our results indicated that intravenous transplantation of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells is safe and feasible. Positive results and trends favoring neurologic recovery and improvement in cerebral blood flow and metabolism by cell underscore the relevance of larger scale randomized controlled trials using this approach.