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

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Abstract

Objective:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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).

Conclusions:

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.

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