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Vocal Cord Scarring—Functional Response to Autologous Adipose Tissue–Derived Stromal Vascular Fraction (ADSVF) Injection

Vocal cord scarring can be disabling and resistant to treatment. Stem cell treatment might be effective but is expensive and requires weeks to culture. In contrast, autologous ADSVF refers to a mix of cells (mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] or adipose-derived stem cells [ADSCs]), fibroblasts, leukocytes, endothelial cells, and progenitors and pericytes) that can be harvested in hours from enzymatic digestion of adipose. Experimental and clinical reports suggest ADSVF has antifibrotic effects, mainly attributed to the stem cell fraction. Researchers assessed the feasibility of using ADSVF for treatment of vocal cord scarring in a phase 1 clinical trial and concluded the treatment was safe and potentially effective. This video shows its functional effects in a patient with congenital scarring (sulcus). Before, the patient’s voice was breathy and slightly hoarse during reading and when voicing a sustained vowel /a/, with a short maximum phonation duration. After treatment, the patient’s voice was clearer without breathiness or hoarseness, and her maximum phonation time was longer. Click the related article link for a complete discussion of the intervention and of other patients’ outcomes.

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