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Original research
Combined endovascular coiling and intra-aneurysmal allogeneic mesenchymal stromal cell therapy for intracranial aneurysms in a rabbit model: a proof-of-concept study
  1. Amin Adibi1,2,
  2. Muneer Eesa2,
  3. John H Wong2,
  4. Arindom Sen1,
  5. Alim P Mitha2
  1. 1Pharmaceutical Production Research Facility (PPRF), Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Foothills Medical Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alim P Mitha, 12th Floor Neurosciences, Foothills Medical Centre, University of Calgary, 1403-29th Street NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N-2T9; amitha{at}


Objective To assess the feasibility and efficacy of clinically translatable adjuvant mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) therapy in improving the healing of coiled aneurysms in a rabbit elastase aneurysm model.

Methods Bone marrow-derived MSC populations were isolated from three rabbit donors in a serum-free environment and independently characterized to confirm their identity. Elastase-induced carotid aneurysms were created in nine New Zealand white rabbits. Each animal received one of the following treatments based on previous randomization: (1) coiling alone (control group); (2) coiling with an intra-aneurysmal injection of saline (vehicle group); and (3) coiling with an intra-aneurysmal injection of 5 million allogeneic MSCs (treatment group). The animals were followed for 4 weeks post-treatment, at the end of which blinded analyses of angiograms and histology were performed.

Results Histological results in the treatment group showed improvements over the control and vehicle groups, although the improvement over the vehicle group was not significant. Intra-aneurysmal cell therapy with 5 million allogeneic MSCs did not result in any major adverse events. Angiographic results did not show any significant difference among groups.

Conclusions This proof-of-concept study shows that adjuvant MSC therapy for intracranial aneurysms is feasible and may enhance histological improvement of coiled aneurysms at 4 weeks post-treatment.

  • Aneurysm
  • Coil
  • Complication
  • Bioactive
  • Vessel Wall

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