As a result of their intense physical activity, racehorses suffer high tendon stress which may result in various pathologies. One of these is tendonitis in the tendon of the superficial digital flexor muscle (TSDFM). Conventional treatment with rest, has not shown to be very effective, and regenerative medicine through the application mesenchymal stem cells appears to be a promising therapy. The objective of this work was to assess the effect of the application of autologous MSC on reduction of the scar length in recurrent TSDFM tendinitis in Holsteiner horses, using image analysis. This study included two groups of five animals each: A control group that received conventional treatment (CG) and an experimental group which was also treated with intralesional injections of MSC (EG). Scar evolution was assessed by echographic analysis, with measurements taken of the scar length over a four month period; the length at month zero, was taken as the initial value of 100 %. During the first month, the mean scar length diminished to 81.14 % (EG) and 95.85 % (CG); after the second month, lengths were 64.4 % (EG) and 92.3 % (CG); following the third month lengths were 51.92 % (EG) and 87.42 % (CG); finally at the end of the fourth month the lengths recorded were 26.7 % (EG) and 83.92 % (CG). These results show that treatment with autologous MSC helps TSDFM scar length was significantly reduced, as compared to conventional treatment.
KEY WORDS: Horse; MSC; Regenerative medicine; TSDFM.