Case Report

International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 451-454

First online:

Autologous stem cell transplantation for treatment of rectovaginal fistula in perianal Crohn's disease: a new cell-based therapy

  • Damian García-OlmoAffiliated withDepartment of General Surgery, La Paz University Hospital, Autonomous University of Madrid Email author 
  • , Mariano García-ArranzAffiliated withDepartment of General Surgery, La Paz University Hospital, Autonomous University of Madrid
  • , Lourdes Gómez GarcíaAffiliated withDepartment of General Surgery, La Paz University Hospital, Autonomous University of Madrid
  • , Eduardo Serna CuellarAffiliated withDepartment of General Surgery, La Paz University Hospital, Autonomous University of Madrid
  • , Ignacio Fernández BlancoAffiliated withDepartment of General Surgery, La Paz University Hospital, Autonomous University of Madrid
  • , Luis Asensio PrianesAffiliated withDepartment of General Surgery, La Paz University Hospital, Autonomous University of Madrid
  • , José Antonio Rodríguez MontesAffiliated withDepartment of General Surgery, La Paz University Hospital, Autonomous University of Madrid
  • , Francisca Lima PintoAffiliated withDepartment of General Surgery, La Paz University Hospital, Autonomous University of Madrid
  • , Dolores Herreros MarcosAffiliated withDepartment of General Surgery, La Paz University Hospital, Autonomous University of Madrid
    • , Luis García-SanchoAffiliated withDepartment of General Surgery, La Paz University Hospital, Autonomous University of Madrid

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Abstract

Background and aims

Rectovaginal fistulas in patients with Crohn's disease are difficult to resolve, and surgical failure is very frequent. Recent studies have shown that adult stem cells extracted from certain tissues, such as adipose tissue, can develop into different tissues, such as muscle.

Patient and methods

We report here the case of a young patient with Crohn's disease who had a recurrent rectovaginal fistula that was treated by autologous stem-cell transplantation with a lipoaspirate as the source of stem cells.

Results

Although Crohn's disease is the worst condition for a surgical approach in cases of rectovaginal fistula, we observed good closure. Since the surgical procedure 3 month ago the patient has not experienced vaginal flatus or fecal incontinence through her vagina. Thus our treatment seems to be effective.

Conclusion

Cell transplantation to overcome healing problems is a new surgical tool, and careful evaluation of this new modality may provide an opportunity to define a new era in the treatment of surgical challenges associated with healing disorders. Ethical and safety items do not seem to be critical problems using autologous stem cells.

Keywords

Stem cells Autologous stem cells Stem-cells transplantation Rectovaginal fistula Perianal Crohn's disease