Fibroblast growth factor as therapy for critical limb ischemia: A case report

John P. Cooke, Ritu Bhatnagar, Andrzej Szuba, Stanley G. Rockson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-91
Number of pages3
JournalVascular Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Strain-gauge plethysmography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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