Comparison between stromal vascular fraction and adipose derived stem cells in a mouse lymphedema model

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Background: Lymphedema is one of the most common complications following breast cancer. Axillary lymph node dissection and radiotherapy are two well-known risk factors resulting in either removal or damage to the lymph nodes. As stem cells are known for their regenerative capabilities, they could theoretically repair/restore the damaged lymph vessels leading to a decrease in lymphedema. Methods: We evaluated the treatment of SVF and ASC on a mouse lymphedema model. Forty-five mice were allocated into three groups containing 15 mice each. The SVF group was injected with 100 μl containing 1 × 106 SVF, the ASC group with 100 μl ml containing 1 × 106 ASC and the NS with 100 μl ml of NS. Volumes of the mice were assessed weekly by μCT hindlimb volumetry for a total of 8 weeks. Lymph vessel morphometry was assessed by cross-sections of both hindlimbs stained for anti-LYVE1. Lymphatic function was assessed by lymphatic clearance. Results: The volume change between the groups was non-significant throughout all 8 weeks. The immunohistochemistry showed a statistically significant difference between the hindlimbs in ASC vs. NS group p = 0.032, 95% CI [–2121, −103]. Conclusion: The volume of the hindlimbs showed that treatment with SVF or ASC yielded very similar results compared to the control group when assessed after 8 weeks. In week two the biggest difference between ASC and NS was seen but the difference diminished during the 8 weeks. The secondary outcomes showed that the lymph vessel lumen decreased when treated with ASC compared to the control group. Lymphoscintigraphy yielded non-significant results.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)302-311
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Adipose derived stem cells
  • comparison
  • lymphedema
  • mouse
  • plastic surgery
  • stromal vascular fraction
  • tumour


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