Adipose Tissue Injection in Perianal Fistulas in Crohn´s Disease

Study Purpose

This randomized and placebo controlled study investigates the efficacy of injections with freshly harvested autologous adipose tissue in CD patients with complex perianal fistulas refractory to standard surgical and/or medical treatment. 140 CD patients will be included and randomized to either treatment with freshly harvested autologous adipose tissue or placebo (saline). Primary outcome measures are clinical healing 6 months after treatment evaluated by clinical examination and pelvic MRI.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years - 70 Years
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • - Diagnosed with Crohn´s Disease.
  • - Perianal fistula with out branching or cavities with one external and one internal opening, which due to the risk for development of incontinence is not suitable for lay-open procedure, meaning: 1) all anterior interspinchteric and low transpinchteric (involving<1/3 of spinchter) in women 2) high interspinchteric fistulas 3) high transspinchteric (>1/3 of sphincter), suprasphincteric and ekstrasphincteric fistulas 4) intersphincteric or low transsphincteric fistula in patients with fecal incontinence and/or fecal urge.
  • - no or minimal luminal disease activity by colonoscopy < 3 months before treatment defined by Simple Endoscopic Severity for Crohn´s Disease<3.
  • - Prior optimal medical treatment for fistulas (immunmodulators, antibiotics and/or anti-TNF-alfa treatment) with out achieving fistula healing.
  • - Treatment with seton for a minimum of 6 weeks.
  • - Speaks and understand Danish.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • - Pregnancy.
  • - Changes in immunmodulator or anti-TNFalfa treatment < 12 weeks.
  • - Anovaginal fistulas.
  • - Rectal or anal stenosis.
  • - Active proctitis.
  • - Stoma.
  • - Previous surgery for fistulas besides simpel drainage or seton.
  • - Smoker.
  • - Insulin-dependent diabetes, conditions inducing defective immunity, pelvic radiation.
- pelvic MRI contraindicated

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Phase 2/Phase 3
Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

University of Aarhus
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Lilli Lundby, MD
Principal Investigator Affiliation Aarhus University Hospital
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries Denmark

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Crohn Disease, Perianal Fistulas, Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy, Treatment
Additional Details

Injection with freshly harvested autologous adipose tissue has been reported to be an efficient treatment of perianal fistulas in patients with Crohn´s Disease (CD). In a prospective observational study 57 % of 21 patients with complex fistulas refractory to combined surgical and/or medical treatment achieved complete clinical healing of the treated fistulas from one to three injections. This randomized and placebo controlled study aims to confirm the efficacy of injections with freshly harvested autologous adipose tissue in CD patients with perianal fistulas. 140 CD patients with complex perianal fistulas refractory to standard surgical and/or medical treatment will be included and randomized to either treatment with freshly harvested autologous adipose tissue or placebo (saline). Clinical evaluation of the treatment efficacy will also be performed in a blinded manner.

Arms & Interventions


Active Comparator: Adipose tissue injection

Patients will be treated with freshly harvested autologous adipose tissue

Placebo Comparator: Placebo

Patients will be treated with saline


Procedure: - Adipose tissue injection

Injection with freshly harvested autologous adipose tissue

Procedure: - saline

injection with saline

Contact a Trial Team

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International Sites

Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark




Aarhus University Hospital

Aarhus N, , 8200

Site Contact

Anders Dige, MD

+45 5190 3619

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