Intravenous Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells for Acute Ischemic Stroke: Safety, Feasibility, and Effect Size from a Phase I Clinical Trial

Farhaan S. Vahidy, Muhammad E. Haque, Mohammad H. Rahbar, Hongjian Zhu, Paul Rowan, Imoigele P. Aisiku, Dean A. Lee, Harinder S. Juneja, Susan Alderman, Andrew D. Barreto, Jose I. Suarez, Arvind Bambhroliya, Khader M. Hasan, Mallikarjuna Rao Kassam, Jaroslaw Aronowski, Adrian Gee, Charles S. Cox, James C. Grotta, Sean I. Savitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Cellular therapy is a promising investigational modality to enhance poststroke recovery. We conducted a single-arm, phase I clinical trial to determine the safety and feasibility of intravenous (IV) administration of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells (MNCs) after acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Patients with moderate severity of AIS underwent bone marrow harvest followed by IV reinfusion of MNCs within 24–72 hours of onset. A target dose of 10 million cells per kilogram was chosen based on preclinical data. Patients were followed up daily during hospitalization and at 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months for incidence of adverse events using laboratory, clinical (12 months), and radiological (24 months) parameters. The trial was powered to detect severe adverse events (SAEs) with incidences of at least 10% and planned to enroll 30 patients. Primary outcomes were study-related SAEs and the proportion of patients successfully completing study intervention. A propensity score-based matched control group was used for the estimation of effect size (ES) for day-90 modified Rankin score (mRS). There were no study-related SAEs and, based on a futility analysis, enrolment was stopped after 25 patients. All patients successfully completed study intervention and most received the target dose. Secondary analysis estimated the ES to be a reduction of 1 point (95% confidence interval: 0.33–1.67) in median day-90 mRS for treated patients as compared with the matched control group. Bone marrow harvest and infusion of MNCs is safe and feasible in patients with AIS. The estimated ES is helpful in designing future randomized controlled trials. Stem Cells 2019;37:1481–1491.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1481-1491
Number of pages11
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Acute brain injury
  • Bone marrow cells
  • Brain oschemia
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Stem cells
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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