Mesenchymal stem cell treatment for chronic feline idiopathic cystitis

We are now enrolling cats with chronic idiopathic cystitis to evaluate a potential new and novel treatment – a cell-based therapy that uses mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) derived from patient’s own fat tissues.

  • We are recruiting indoor cats with severe persistent or frequently relapsing chronic idiopathic cystitis (sometimes referred to as interstitial cystitis), which have failed to respond to currently recommended treatment.
  • All costs of the study will be covered plus each client whose cat completes the study will receive $400 at the end of the study.

What is required of my cat and me?

  • At the initial visit, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire, which will include information about current household enrichment practices, other pets in the house, and dietary and treatment history. Your cat will be examined and a health screen performed using routine blood and urine tests and an abdominal ultrasound scan.
  • Your cat will then undergo a minor surgical procedure under anesthesia to collect a small amount of subcutaneous from which stem cells will be isolated.
  • Success of the therapy will be based on the number and frequency of bladder symptoms before and after stem-cell treatment. You will have to fill out a daily diary of urinary symptoms for a total of 8 months- for 2 months prior to injection of stem cells and for 6 months after injection.
  • Mesenchymal stem cells be labeled with nanoparticles and injected into the abdominal cavity under general anesthesia and ultrasound guidance. Safety studies in healthy cats indicate that this route of stem cell delivery is safe and associated with only minor side effects (e.g. mild discomfort for a few days). Migration of the stem cells will be monitored with MRI. MRI scans will be performed immediately before and after stem cell injection, and again one week after injection.
  • You and your cat will be required to return for follow-up visits at one, two and six months post injection.

Contact Information

Dr. John M. Kruger DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Principal Investigator

Kristen Koehl LVT, Study Coordinator

This study has been approved by the MSU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and is supported by grants from the Morris Animal Foundation, the MSU CVM Endowed Research Funds, and the MSU CVM Center for Feline Health and Well-Being.

Your financial support of the CVM Center for Feline Health and Wellbeing will help to fund this study as well as other important research on diseases of concern to cat owners, lovers, and breeders.