Volume 82 (2018) Issue 6 Pages 1688-1698
Background:The therapeutic efficacy of bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-MNC) autotransplantation in critical limb ischemia (CLI) has been reported. Variable proportions of circulating monocytes express low levels of CD34 (CD14+CD34lowcells) and behave in vitro as endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). The aim of the present randomized clinical trial was to compare the safety and therapeutic effects of enriched circulating EPCs (ECEPCs) with BM-MNC administration.
Methods and Results:ECEPCs (obtained from non-mobilized peripheral blood by immunomagnetic selection of CD14+and CD34+cells) or BM-MNC were injected into the gastrocnemius of the affected limb in 23 and 17 patients, respectively. After a mean of 25.2±18.6-month follow-up, both groups showed significant and progressive improvement in muscle perfusion (primary endpoint), rest pain, consumption of analgesics, pain-free walking distance, wound healing, quality of life, ankle-brachial index, toe-brachial index, and transcutaneous PO2. In ECEPC-treated patients, there was a positive correlation between injected CD14+CD34lowcell counts and the increase in muscle perfusion. The safety profile was comparable between the ECEPC and BM-MNC treatment arms. In both groups, the number of deaths and major amputations was lower compared with eligible untreated patients and historical reference patients.
Conclusions:This study supports previous trials showing the efficacy of BM-MNC autotransplantation in CLI patients and demonstrates comparable therapeutic efficacy between BM-MNC and EPEPCs.