The role of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells in the acute clinical setting

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Introduction: Accumulating evidence supports the use of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs), particularly bone marrow derived, as a safe and promising biologic therapy for promoting tissue repair and regeneration in various chronic diseases and disorders. Despite growing evidence that MSCs are potent anti-inflammatory mediators that can provide substantial benefits in acute organ injury, there are limited clinical trials utilizing MSCs in acute care settings, such as in the emergency department (ED) or intensive care unit (ICU). Objective: This article reviews the current state of MSC-based therapeutics and further explores the untapped potential role to treat various acute, life-threating injuries in the ED and ICU. Discussion: All clinical trials using MSCs in acute myocardial infarction (AMI), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis and acute kidney injury (AKI) demonstrated safety. While some also demonstrate clinical efficacy, efficacy data is inconsistent, with some studies limited by sample size, cell integrity and different dosages, necessitating further studies. Conclusion: MSCs are potentially promising novel biologic therapeutics for clinical application in AMI, ARDS, sepsis, AKI and COVID-19 that have demonstrated safety in all clinical trials. More rigorous clinical trials are necessary and warranted to determine the efficacy of MSCs as a novel therapeutic in an acute setting, such as the ED.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-578
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Cell transplantation
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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