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Bone marrow aspirate injection for treatment of critical limb ischemia with comparison to patients undergoing high-risk bypass grafts *


Bone marrow cell therapy (BMCT) for patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI) is a potential treatment in candidates with poor options for standard revascularization procedures. Whereas clinical trials are ongoing, there are few comparative data to assess its efficacy compared with bypass.


Patients with poor revascularization options underwent BMCT between 2011 and 2013. Outcomes were compared with those of a cohort of CLI patients undergoing infrainguinal bypass thought to be at high risk for graft failure (tissue loss, a tibial target, and a previous endovascular treatment or bypass). BMCT patients underwent harvest of bone marrow that was then concentrated and injected intramuscularly into the ischemic limb.


There were 20 BMCT patients and 35 high-risk bypass patients. All BMCT patients had either rest pain (80%) or tissue loss (80%). The majority (65%) had a prior intervention (bypass, 30%; endovascular, 58%) compared with high-risk bypass patients, all of whom had previous revascularization attempts (bypass, 43% [P = .35]; endovascular, 77% [P = .14]). Mean follow-up was 773 days after BMCT and 972 days after high-risk bypass. All patients tolerated BMCT without issues or complications. A second BMCT treatment was performed in 21% because of clinical deterioration. Wound healing occurred in 75% at 1.5 years, including patients receiving second injections, all of which resolved. Rest pain improved in 87.5% of patients. Pain completely resolved in 58% at 1.5 years. Ankle-brachial index improvement was 0.23 (±0.25). Three BMCT patients went on to amputation. One-year freedom from major amputation or death was 78% for BMCT vs 69% for high-risk bypass (P = .60).


BMCT is a potential option in CLI patients who are not candidates for bypass or endovascular intervention. Limb salvage is unexpectedly high in this population with few other options.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 05-08-2017
Authors: Kristina A. Giles, MD, Eva M. Rzucidlo, MD, Philip P. Goodney, MD, MS, Daniel B. Walsh, MD, Richard J. Powell, MD