Atherosclerosis is the most common form of arterial occlusive disease in adults. About 15 percent of adults over 55 years of age suffer from critical ischemia, the most severe form of this disease.
Due to the gradual aging of the population and the growing number of people in their third age group, a number of studies have been conducted in order to improve the prognosis of atherosclerosis obliterans and to find alternatives to the mutilation of the extremities. As a general rule, chronic ischemia of the lower limbs should be treated to alleviate symptoms, particularly pain, prevent disease progression, and reduce the rate of amputations. In most patients with critical ischemia, the main goal is to preserve the affected limb.
The development of regenerative medicine is closely linked to the development of new knowledge about embryonic and adult stem cells, as well as the regenerative and therapeutic potential of stem cell therapy. The use of adult stem cells in the treatment of peripheral artery diseases has been demonstrated as a therapeutic agent for inducing angiogenesis. Recent preclinical studies as well as the pioneering clinical studies indicate that bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells (MBMCs) can enhance tissue vascularization in ischemic limbs, with results similar to those obtained with peripheral blood stem cells supply.
Cuba presented the first studies carried out in 2004 at the Institute of Hematology of the “Enrique Cabrera” hospital in Havana City, which achieved encouraging clinical results and had very few adverse effects in recent years.
A progressive rise in the accumulated experience with stem cells was also observed in Pinar del Rio in 2005, as the first 10 cases were carried out. The rising ease of obtaining this type of cell has made research and applications with these cells advance rapidly with great expectations in terms of clinical application.
A study published by Dia-Diaz, et al. in the Journal of Medical Sciences of Pinar del Rio examined 296 patients with grade IV atherosclerosis obliterans between 2009 and 2019. During the study, autologous stem cells were injected intramuscularly from peripheral blood. Within four weeks, pain relief was observed, as well as an increase in the pain-free claudication distance. Angiography after treatment revealed collateral vessel formation. The limb was saved in 201 patients (68%), while 95 cases (32%) presented amputation criteria. Complications were not reported following the procedure.
The study demonstrated the effectiveness of the implantation of autologous stem cells obtained from peripheral blood, as well as the favorable evolution of patients, clinical improvement of rest pain, walking distance without claudication and ankle-brachial pressure index.
We still need to explore a lot of ground, in terms of these and other conditions. You can learn more about regenerative medicine and stem cells by enrolling in our international certification program at www.issca.us