Stem cell therapy linked to lower rates of amputation in diabetic foot cases, meta-analysis shows

The use of stem cell therapy has been found to be “significantly” more effective in the treatment of diabetic foot compared to traditional methods, meta-analysis has found.

Researchers found that stem cells were more effective in terms of ulcer or wound healing rates; improvement in lower extremity ischemia and pain-free walking distance; and improvements in rest pain score. Amputation rates were also significantly decreased.

A team from the Department of Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery at Xiangya Hospital in China and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College examined 14 studies that covered 683 participants.

They looked at the following outcomes:

  • Ulcer or wound healing rate
  • Amputation rate
  • New vessels
  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI)
  • Transcutaneous oxygen pressure
  • Pain-free walking distance
  • Rest pain score.

The team concluded: The meta-analysis of the current studies has shown that stem cells are significantly more effective than traditional methods in the treatment of diabetic foot and can improve the quality of life of patients after treatment.

“Future studies should conduct large-scale, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-centre trials with high-quality long-term follow-up to demonstrate the most effective cell types and therapeutic parameters for the treatment of diabetic foot.”

The study has been published in Stem Cell Research & Therapy.

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

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