Stem cells derived from abdominal fat can repair skull defects after brain surgery, a new study has found.
Preliminary results suggested that adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs)- used along with a synthetic bone grafting material - are a useful material to fill large skull defects.
Dr. Tumo Thesleff and colleagues of Tampere University Hospital, Finland, used the ASC technique to restore skull defects in four patients, average age 64 years.
All patients had persistent skull defects-averaging about 3 by 21/2 inches in size-resulting from complications after surgery.
Stem cells were prepared from a small sample of fat obtained from the patient's abdomen.
After developing the stem cells, Thesleff and colleagues combined them with a synthetic bone grafting material (called betaTCP) to fill the skull defects in the patients. The results were assessed by computed tomography (CT) scans performed the week after surgery and at three months' and one year's follow-up.
The ASC procedure provided good results in restoring the skull defects with firm new bone. On the follow-up CT scans, the new bone filled in gradually, reaching the density of the neighboring bone within several months.
The study is published in the June issue of Neurosurgery.