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In an attempt to avert impending, primary amputation, an 85-year-old woman with chronic critical leg ischemia was enrolled in an experimental protocol to induce therapeutic angiogenesis. Treatment consisted of six consecutive, weekly intravenous infusions of recombinant basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). Angiographic evaluation was performed before and after therapy. The patient's clinical response was monitored through serial measurements of the ankle/brachial index and by repetitive assessment of limb flow by mercury strain-gauge plethysmography. A beneficial clinical response was detectable by week 4 of therapy, which was characterized by an improved walking distance, relief of ischemic pain, a marked reduction in analgesic consumption, and healing of persistent, unresponsive, painful inflammation of the hallux. The clinical improvement was sustained throughout the remaining weeks of therapy and follow-up evaluation. Plethysmography documented improved blood flow; specifically, the augmentation of digital flow was sustained and correlated with the marked improvement in the patient's clinical status.
View details for Web of Science ID 000081421600006
View details for PubMedID 10406455