PAIN+ CPN

Navani A, Manchikanti L, Albers SL, et al. Responsible, Safe, and Effective Use of Biologics in the Management of Low Back Pain: American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) Guidelines. Pain Physician. 2019 Jan;22(1S):S1-S74. (Systematic review)
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Regenerative medicine is a medical subspecialty that seeks to recruit and enhance the body's own inherent healing armamentarium in the treatment of patient pathology. This therapy's intention is to assist in the repair, and to potentially replace or restore damaged tissue through the use of autologous or allogenic biologics. This field is rising like a Phoenix from the ashes of underperforming conventional therapy midst the hopes and high expectations of patients and medical personnel alike. But, because this is a relatively new area of medicine that has yet to substantiate its outcomes, care must be taken in its public presentation and promises as well as in its use.

OBJECTIVE: To provide guidance for the responsible, safe, and effective use of biologic therapy in the lumbar spine. To present a template on which to build standardized therapies using biologics. To ground potential administrators of biologics in the knowledge of the current outcome statistics and to stimulate those interested in providing biologic therapy to participate in high quality research that will ultimately promote and further advance this area of medicine.

METHODS: The methodology used has included the development of objectives and key questions. A panel of experts from various medical specialties and subspecialties as well as differing regions collaborated in the formation of these guidelines and submitted (if any) their appropriate disclosures of conflicts of interest. Trustworthy standards were employed in the creation of these guidelines. The literature pertaining to regenerative medicine, its effectiveness, and adverse consequences was thoroughly reviewed using a best evidence synthesis of the available literature. The grading for recommendation was provided as described by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE: Lumbar Disc Injections: Based on the available evidence regarding the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), including one high-quality randomized controlled trial (RCT), multiple moderate-quality observational studies, a single-arm meta-analysis and evidence from a systematic review, the qualitative evidence has been assessed as Level III (on a scale of Level I through V) using a qualitative modified approach to the grading of evidence based on best-evidence synthesis. Based on the available evidence regarding the use of medicinal signaling/ mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) with a high-quality RCT, multiple moderate-quality observational studies, a single-arm meta-analysis, and 2 systematic reviews, the qualitative evidence has been assessed as Level III (on a scale of Level I through V) using a qualitative modified approach to the grading of evidence based on best evidence synthesis. Lumbar Epidural Injections Based on one high-quality RCT, multiple relevant moderate-quality observational studies and a single-arm meta-analysis, the qualitative evidence has been assessed as Level IV (on a scale of Level I through V) using a qualitative modified approach to the grading of evidence based on best evidence synthesis. Lumbar Facet Joint Injections Based on one high-quality RCT and 2 moderate-quality observational studies, the qualitative evidence for facet joint injections with PRP has been assessed as Level IV (on a scale of Level I through V) using a qualitative modified approach to the grading of evidence based on best evidence synthesis. Sacroiliac Joint Injection Based on one high-quality RCT, one moderate-quality observational study, and one low-quality case report, the qualitative evidence has been assessed as Level IV (on a scale of Level I through V) using a qualitative modified approach to the grading of evidence based on best evidence synthesis.

CONCLUSION: Based on the evidence synthesis summarized above, there is Level III evidence for intradiscal injections of PRP and MSCs, whereas the evidence is considered Level IV for lumbar facet joint, lumbar epidural, and sacroiliac joint injections of PRP, (on a scale of Level I through V) using a qualitative modified approach to the grading of evidence based on best evidence synthesis.Regenerative therapy should be provided to patients following diagnostic evidence of a need for biologic therapy, following a thorough discussion of the patient's needs and expectations, after properly educating the patient on the use and administration of biologics and in full light of the patient's medical history. Regenerative therapy may be provided independently or in conjunction with other modalities of treatment including a structured exercise program, physical therapy, behavioral therapy, and along with the appropriate conventional medical therapy as necessary. Appropriate precautions should be taken into consideration and followed prior to performing biologic therapy. Multiple guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), potential limitations in the use of biologic therapy and the appropriate requirements for compliance with the FDA have been detailed in these guidelines.

KEY WORDS: Regenerative medicine, platelet-rich plasma, medicinal signaling cells, mesenchymal stem cells, stromal vascular fraction, bone marrow concentrate, chronic low back pain, discogenic pain, facet joint pain, Food and Drug Administration, minimal manipulation, evidence synthesis.

Ratings
Discipline Area Score
Physician 5 / 7
Comments from MORE raters

Physician rater

This is more of a position paper looking at the potential of regenerative medicine techniques (PRP, stem cells, etc) for back pain pathology. It's an excellent review of not only the disease processes but also a review of technologies. We need more studies and RCTs to see where this level of treatment evolves.

Physician rater

This very comprehensive review makes evident what was already known about biologic therapies such as platelet rich plasma: that studies are small and techniques are not standardized. More evidence is necessary regarding these procedures.
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