Treatment of transsphincteric fistula-in-ano with growth factors from autologous platelets: results of a phase II clinical trial
The aim of this paper is to evaluate to the safety, feasibility and efficacy of a novel treatment for transsphincteric cryptoglandular fistula: injection of autologous plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF) into the fistula tract accompanied by sealing using a fibrin plug created from the activated platelet-poor fraction of the same plasma.
This article is a prospective, phase II clinical trial. The procedure was externally audited. Thirty-six patients diagnosed with transsphincteric fistula-in-ano were included. All patients underwent follow-up examinations at 1 week and again at 3, 6 and 12 months after discharge. Main outcome measures safety (number of adverse events), feasibility and effectiveness of the treatment.
A total of 36 patients received the study treatment, with the procedure found to be feasible in all patients. A total of seven adverse events (AE) related to the injected product or surgical procedure were identified in 4 of 36 patients. At the end of the follow-up period (12 months), 33.3% of patients (12/36) had achieved complete fistula healing and 11.1% of patients (4/36) had achieved partial healing. In total, this amounted to 44.4% of patients (16/36) being asymptomatic at final follow-up. In successfully healed patients, a gradual reduction in pain was observed, as measured using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) (p = 0.0278). Compared to baseline, a significant improvement in Wexner score was seen in patients achieving total or partial healing of the fistula (p = 0.0195).
The study treatment was safe and feasible, with apparently modest efficacy rates. Continence and pain improvement following treatment may be considered predictive factors for healing.
KeywordsFistula PRGF Cryptoglandular Fibrin plug
Compliance with ethical standards
The study was approved by the local ethics committee and was conducted according to Good Clinical Practice guidelines.
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