Adult stem cells are available from three principal sources: bone marrow, adipose and blood.
Bone marrow is obtained by placing a needle into a large, readily accessible bone and aspirating (withdrawing) marrow. Hence the term bone marrow aspirate.
The use of x-ray during bone marrow aspirate ensures correct placement of the needle, minimizes time required, maximizes patient comfort and avoids complications such as puncture of blood vessels and organs. X-ray guidance during bone marrow aspirate is the standard of care at the Centeno-Schultz Clinic. We have had no complications and the procedure is performed in 20 minutes or less.
After the bone marrow is obtained the stem cell rich cells ( the nucleated cells) need to be separated and concentrated. Hence the term bone marrow aspirate concentrate: BMAC.
Most clinics use a bed side centrifuge whereas Regenexx has a state of the art lab.
Does it make a difference?
When compared to bedside centrifuges, the Regenexx lab produced a concentrate that had a 3 times the number nucleated cells. This is illustrated in the graph below. The greater the number of nucleated cells the better since studies have demonstrated that placement and number of cells injected can translate to better clinical outcome.