Advances in stem cell–mediated regenerative medicine have had a profound effect on interventional approaches to irreversible, blinding retinal diseases. In 2015,1 transplant of retinal pigment epithelial cells derived from human embryonic stem cells was shown to be safe in a phase 1/2 clinical trial for patients with age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt disease. Research involving induced pluripotent stem cells for retinal degenerative diseases also shows promise.2 Despite the potential of this therapeutic practice, many unregulated stem-cell treatments have emerged3 that may be harmful. We present a case of central retinal artery occlusion following autologous bone marrow peribulbar stem cell injection for retinitis pigmentosa.
Boudreault K, Justus S, Lee W, Mahajan VB, Tsang SH. Complication of Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Retinitis Pigmentosa. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016;134(6):711-712. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.0803