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The age-adjusted prevalence of peripheral arterial disease in the US population was estimated to approach 12% in 1985, and as the population ages, the overall population having peripheral arterial disease is predicted to rise. The clinical consequences of occlusive peripheral arterial disease include intermittent claudication, that is, pain with walking, and critical limb ischemia (CLI), which includes pain at rest and loss of tissue integrity in the distal limbs, which may ultimately lead to amputation of a portion of the lower extremity. The risk factors for CLI are similar to those linked to coronary artery disease and include advanced age, smoking, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. The worldwide incidence of CLI was estimated to be 500 to 1000 cases per million people per year in 1991. The prognosis is poor for CLI subjects with advanced limb disease. One study of >400 such subjects in the United Kingdom found that 25% required amputation and 20% (including some subjects who had required amputation) died within 1 year. In the United States, ≈280 lower-limb amputations for ischemic disease are performed per million people each year. The first objective in treating CLI is to increase blood circulation to the affected limb. Theoretically, increased blood flow could be achieved by increasing the number of vessels that supply the ischemic tissue with blood. The use of pharmacological agents to induce new blood vessel growth for the treatment or prevention of pathological clinical conditions has been called therapeutic angiogenesis. Since the identification of the endothelial progenitor cell in 1997 by Asahara and Isner, the field of cell-based therapies for peripheral arterial disease has been in a state of continuous evolution. Here, we review the current state of that field.


Zankhana Raval, Douglas W Losordo. Cell therapy of peripheral arterial disease: from experimental findings to clinical trials. Circulation research. 2013 Apr 26;112(9):1288-302

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PMID: 23620237

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