Endothelial progenitor cells and their potential clinical applications in peripheral arterial disease.
243 - 250.
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) were originally thought to be present only during embryonic development. New evidence suggests that they can persist into adult life, circulate in the peripheral blood and may play an important part in endothelial repair and replacement of dysfunctional endothelium. They may also play a role in the formation of new blood vessels ( angiogenesis, vasculogenesis, and arteriogenesis) in ischemic tissues. In addition, EPCs have the potential to endothelialize small-diameter prosthetic vascular bypass grafts and generate a nonthrombogenic surface, thereby increasing the patency rate of these grafts. EPCs may also be used in the clinical assessment of risk of vascular disease. In this review, the authors discuss the potential use of EPCs in the management of peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
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