Bone marrow cell transplants found to reduce diabetic amputations

A recent study published in Cell Transplantation reported that autologous mononuclear cells derived from bone marrow have been found to significantly induce vascular growth when transplanted into diabetic patients who are suffering from critical limb ischemia caused by peripheral artery disease.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at the Andaluz Center for Biologic and Molecular Regenerative Medicine in Seville, Spain, included 20 diabetic patients with severe, below-the-knee arterial ischemia.

Previous studies have examined the effect of bone marrow mononuclear cell therapy (BMMNC) on limb ischemia, but the optimum dose in order to achieve the best results is still unknown. The researchers used a dose that was 10 times lower than previously used in other studies hoping to clarify this issue and achieve effective development of new vascularization.

The patients were evaluated at 3 months and 12 months post-transplantation. The researchers found that the BMMNC therapy improved vascular growth and decreased the number of amputations in the participants. However, they found that the mortality rate was unaffected by the treatment.

“As previously reported, the 1-year mortality rate for diabetic patients with PAD — most of which are associated with cardiac complications — has been found to be 20%,” Dr. Bernat Soria, author of the study, stated in a press release. “Our study documented significant increases in neovasculogenesis for the majority of our study patients and a decrease in the number of amputations. However, overall PAD mortality for our patients was similar to that generally experienced.”

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