A long-term study of patients who received stem cells to treat angiitis-induced critical limb ischemia (AICLI) shows the cells to be both safe and effective. The study, published in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM), could lead to an option for those who suffer from this serious form of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). AICLI is caused by an inflammation of the blood vessels that leads to a severe blockage in the arteries of the lower or upper extremities. It causes severe pain and impaired mobility, and can even lead to amputation and death. While endovascular and surgical reconstruction are the mainstream treatments for critical limb ischemia (CLI), these classical treatments are not feasible in approximately 15 to 20 percent of patients. Stem cell therapy is a promising option for these otherwise no-option CLI patients. As one of the promising stem cell therapies, purified CD34+ cell transplantation (PuCeT) has shown favorable short-term results, but prior to this new study no one had looked at its long-term outcome. In the study, published online on April 30, 2018 in SCTM, researchers at Zhongshan Hospital (affiliated with Fudan University) in Shanghai tracked 27 AICLI patients for five years after each had received an intramuscular injection of PuCeT to treat their disease. "The primary endpoint - major-amputation-free survival rate - as well as secondary endpoints such as peak pain-free walking time and the scale of the patient's pain, were routinely evaluated during the five-year follow-up period," said Zhihui Dong, MD, who, along with his Department of Vascular Surgery colleague Weiguo Fu, MD, served as corresponding authors on the study.
Login Or Register To Read Full Story