Autologous conditioned serum

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Autologous conditioned serum, also known as Orthokine and Regenokine, is an experimental procedure in which a person's own blood is extracted, manipulated, and then reintroduced with claimed benefit in osteoarthritis.[1] There is limited evidence on safety and effectiveness as of 2017,[1] it is not included in medical guidelines as of 2017.[1] It is a type of autologous blood therapy.[1]

Medical use[edit]

There is limited evidence on safety and effectiveness as of 2017.[1] There is tentative evidence in osteoarthritis,[2] its use has not been recommended or considered by the Osteoarthritis Research Society International.[1]


The process removes about 2 US fluid ounces (59 ml) of blood from a patient's arm, which is then incubated at a slightly raised temperature.[citation needed] The liquid is then placed in a centrifuge until its constituent parts are separated; that serum is injected into the patient's affected area.


Autologous conditioned serum is a patented method developed by molecular biologist Julio Reinecke and Peter Wehling, a spinal surgeon in Düsseldorf, Germany.[3][4] Orthokine was first approved for use in Germany in 2003.[5] Orthokine differs from a similar procedure with platelet-rich plasma (PRP),[6] where platelets are targeted instead of the interleukin antagonist. Also, PRP does not require the blood to be heated as Orthokine does.[citation needed]

As of August 2012, about 60,000 patients worldwide have received the treatment.[5] Americans have traveled to Germany for the treatment, which has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).[7][4] Freddie Fu, a professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, said more high-quality independent trials proving the procedure's effectiveness are needed before the FDA approves. National Basketball Association player Kobe Bryant traveled to Germany to have the procedure performed;[7][3] some basketball fans refer to the procedure as the "Kobe Procedure".[3]

The procedure cost €6,000 (about $7,400) as of July 2012; the treatment is not covered by health insurance.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Wehling, P; Evans, C; Wehling, J; Maixner, W (August 2017). "Effectiveness of intra-articular therapies in osteoarthritis: a literature review". Therapeutic advances in musculoskeletal disease. 9 (8): 183–196. doi:10.1177/1759720X17712695. PMC 5557186. PMID 28835778. Limited data due to less expanded use and nonconsideration in guidelines.
  2. ^ "Osteoarthritis Emerging Therapies Epocrates Online". Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Kyler, Steve (August 15, 2012). "NBA AM: The Next Nightmare In The NBA". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  4. ^ a b Thompson, Teri (December 31, 2011). "A-Rod doc has pal who dealt 'cream'". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on 2012-08-14. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  5. ^ a b Mitchell, John N. (August 18, 2012). "Bynum's knee treatment gains acceptance in U.S." The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on 2012-08-24. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
  6. ^ Torrero, JI; Martinez, C (July 2015). "New developments in the treatment of osteoarthritis – focus on biologic agents". Open Access Rheumatology (7): 33–43. doi:10.2147/OARRR.S50058. PMC 5045124. PMID 27790043.
  7. ^ a b Lehrer, Jonah (April 11, 2012). "Why Did Kobe Go to Germany?". ESPN Internet Ventures. Archived from the original on 2012-08-14. Retrieved 2012-08-14.