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Open Access Autologous Bone Marrow Cell Transplantation Increases Leg Perfusion and Reduces Amputations in Patients With Advanced Critical Limb Ischemia Due to Peripheral Artery Disease

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Bone marrow cell transplantation has been shown to induce angiogenesis and thus improve ischemic artery disease. This study evaluates the effects of intramuscular bone marrow cell transplantation in patients with limb-threatening critical limb ischemia with a very high risk for major amputation. After failed or impossible operative and/or interventional revascularization and after unsuccessful maximum conservative therapy, 51 patients with impending major amputation due to severe critical limb ischemia had autologous bone marrow cells (BMC) transplanted into the ischemic leg. Patients 1‐12 received Ficoll-isolated bone marrow mononuclear cells (total cell number 1.1 ± 1.1 × 109), patients 13‐51 received point of care isolated bone marrow total nucleated cells (3.0 ± 1.7 × 109). Limb salvage was 59% at 6 months and 53% at last follow-up (mean 411 ± 261 days, range 175‐1186). Perfusion measured with ankle-brachial index (ABI) and transcutaneous oxygen tension (tcpO2) at baseline and after 6 months increased in patients with consecutive limb salvage (ABI 0.33 ± 0.18 to 0.46 ± 0.15, tcpO2 12 ± 12 to 25 ± 15 mmHg) and did not change in patients eventually undergoing major amputation. No difference in clinical outcome between the isolation methods were seen. Clinically most important, patients with limb salvage improved from a mean Rutherford category of 4.9 at baseline to 3.3 at 6 months (p = 0.0001). Analgesics consumption was reduced by 62%. Total walking distance improved in nonamputees from zero to 40 m. Three severe periprocedural adverse events resolved without sequelae, and no unexpected long-term adverse events occurred. In no-option patients with end-stage critical limb ischemia due to peripheral artery disease, bone marrow cell transplantation is a safe procedure that can improve leg perfusion sufficiently to reduce major amputations and permit durable limb salvage.

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Keywords: Bone marrow cell therapy; Critical limb ischemia; Peripheral vascular disease; Point of care

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Franziskuskrankenhaus, Berlin Vascular Center, Berlin, Germany. [email protected]

Publication date: 01 March 2009

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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