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BMC Surg. 2012;12 Suppl 1:S1. doi: 10.1186/1471-2482-12-S1-S1. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Peripheral blood mono-nuclear cells implantation in patients with peripheral arterial disease: a pilot study for clinical and biochemical outcome of neoangiogenesis.

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  • 1Department of General, Geriatric, Oncologic Surgery and Advanced Technologies University of Naples Federico II, Via S, Pansini, 5 - 801311 Napoli, Italy.



Substantial progresses in the management of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) have been made in the past two decades. Progress in the understanding of the endothelial-platelet interaction during health and disease state has resulted in better antiplatelet drugs that can prevent platelet aggregation, activation and thrombosis during angioplasty and stenting. A role in physiological and pathological angiogenesis in adults has been recently shown in bone marrow-derived circulating endothelial progenitors (BM-DCEPs) identified in the peripheral blood. These findings have paved the way for the development of therapeutic neovascularization techniques using endothelial progenitors.


This pilot study includes five patients, aged 60 to 75, with a history of claudication and recruited from September 2010 to February 2011 at the A.O.U. Federico II of Naples.PBMNCs have been implanted three times in the limb with the worst ABI value in all the patients included in the study.The clinical follow up was performed during the subsequent 12 months from the beginning of the treatment.


In four patients there was a regression of ulcerative lesions.One patient's condition improved after the first implantation but later did not respond to the further treatments.All patients achieved a pain relief as judged by the numeric pain scale. Pain relief remained satisfactory in three patients for one year. Pain gradually returned to the pre-treatment level in two patients.All patients referred an ameliorating in their quality of life expressed even by an improvement in claudication free walking distance.These improvements are reflected also by intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography (IADSA) that shows an improvement of arterial vascularization.


The data from this study suggest an efficacy of BM-DCEPs implantation in terms of improvement of the vascularization and quality of life in patients affected by Peripheral Arterial Disease. Nevertheless a double-blind placebo-controlled study is needed to confirm our findings.

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