The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinical efficacy of neural stem/progenitor cell (NS/PC) transplantation to treat severe cortical visual impairment (CVI), a sequela of neonatal brain injury. Fifty-two patients with cerebral injury and CVI were randomly divided into
two groups: the treatment group (n = 25, with the median age of 18 months) and the control group (n = 27, with the median age of 19.5 months). The treatment group received intracerebroventricular transplantation of human NS/PCs and rehabilitation training. The control group received
rehabilitation only. The visual function was assessed by Holt’s method at various time points after transplantation. One in five patients with fundus abnormalities accompanied by blindness regained light perception. The visual functions of 75% of the patients with normal fundus were
improved by one level or more in a 2-year follow-up. The median efficacy appeared 60 days posttransplantation. The total effective rate of cell transplantation on visual improvement was 64% (16 patients of 25), among which one blind patient regained light perception, five (31.2%) CVI patients
improved by one level, and 10 (62.5%) improved by more than one level. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a subpopulation of patients showed enhanced signals in the occipital lobe, visual pathway, and apical lobe after transplantation. In the control group, four patients with
fundus abnormalities showed no improvement. Nine of 23 CVI patients with normal fundus improved visual function by more than one level. At the 2-year follow-up, no blind patients showed visual improvement. The total effective rate was 33.33% (9 of 27 patients). Among those showing visual improvement
in the control group, six patients (66.67%) improved by one level, and three (33.33%) by more than one level. The median efficacy occurred in 365 days. Human NS/PC transplantation is effective to treat patients with severe CVI after neonatal brain injury. Compared with the traditional rehabilitation
training, cell transplantation showed not only earlier visual improvement but also higher improvement rates and degrees. This article is published as part of the International Association of Neurorestoratology (IANR) supplement issue of Cell Transplantation.
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Neural stem/progenitor cells;
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2013-12-17
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