Stem Cell Therapy for Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), especially atherosclerosis, are still one of the leading causes of death around the world. The problem is that most treatments start only after symptoms appear, and the focus is then on eliminating them rather than preventing them.

But what if we could repair the heart with stem cells? By treating the problem early on, patients may have better chances of survival. That’s why stem cells for atherosclerosis are a hot topic in research right now. Stem cell therapy could prove useful for patients with damaged hearts and severe inflammation. Let’s have a detailed look at this therapeutic modality.

Stem Cell Therapy for Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease
Image Source: Scientist working with chemicals

What Is Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease?

Atherosclerosis is a chronic, vascular disease that puts your blood flow at risk and increases the odds of clotting. Based on recent reports, the prevalence of atherosclerosis varies from 17% in people younger than 20 to 85% in adults over 50. 

Atherosclerosis tends to cause strokes, heart attacks, and chest pain. But it’s not just a heart problem; it can happen in any artery in the body, such as the arteries that provide blood to your lower body, stomach, brain, and kidneys.

To understand the issue more in-depth, let’s start with the basics. The arteries carry and transport blood. The normal flow of blood helps the heart function properly. But when there is a substance that glues itself inside the walls of these arteries and stacks over time, that’s when atherosclerosis can happen. 

This substance has a sticky consistency due to the presence of fibrin, which captures platelets from the bloodstream, potentially leading to vessel thrombosis. The main component of the plaque is cholesterol, which is essentially similar to fat.

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Stem Cell Therapy for Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease
Dr. Aleksandra Fetyukhina, MD

Medical Advisor, Swiss Medica doctor

How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work for Vascular Disease?

Stem Cell Therapy for Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease
Image Source: Doctor and patient consulting

Stem cell treatment is a form of regenerative approach for diseases. Clinical trials show that the use of stem cells could change the way we treat CVDs. This therapy can stimulate the repair of the damaged heart muscle and offer promising results in treating vascular diseases.

Stem cells can replace various types of cells in the body, for example, smooth muscle and endothelial cells. Recent studies suggest that adult stem cells can repair damaged endothelial cells. This can help restore the vessel’s integrity and function. Stem cell therapy for vascular disease could be used after procedures like surgical vein grafting or balloon angioplasty. 

When it comes to using stem cell therapy in patients with vascular complications, another study demonstrated positive outcomes. Such therapy helped improve ulcer healing and clinical parameters and reduced the risk of amputations. 

Indications and Contraindications for Cell Therapy for Vascular Disease

The field of stem cell therapy for peripheral vascular disease is constantly evolving. The contraindications may vary based on the type of cells used, ongoing research, and the patient’s health state. For more details, we encourage you to consult with our specialist.


  • Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI): cell therapy can be considered for CLI patients. Recent data from stem cell clinic showed that the therapy may improve clinical outcomes.
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD): patients with PAD can also be viewed as candidates for cell therapy.
  • Ineffective Revascularization: patients who have had surgical vein grafting or balloon angioplasty with little success may consider cell therapy.
  • Chronic Ulcers: patients with ulcers that don’t heal may respond to cell therapy.


Although each case is considered on an individual basis, below are some of the most common contraindications. We try to accommodate even in the most difficult cases, but you should always talk to one of our doctors.

  • Active cancer or history of cancer, as stem cell therapy may promote tumor growth if it is already present in the body.
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding, as the effects of stem cell therapy on the fetus or breastfeeding infant are not well understood.
  • Severe coagulation disorders, as stem cell therapy may increase the risk of bleeding complications.
  • Allergic reactions or hypersensitivity to components used in stem cell therapy procedures.

Advantages of Stem Cell Therapy for Atherosclerosis

Stem cell therapy for vascular disease can offer many benefits. 

It can:

  • Offer anti-inflammatory compounds: mesenchymal stem cells atherosclerosis can curb inflammation. MSCs can decrease the uptake of cholesterol. The therapy can interfere with the process that makes atherosclerosis form in the first place. 
  • Reduce mortality rates: this therapy may be able to cut the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 80%. It offered promising results for patients with damaged hearts and severe inflammation. 
  • Provide a “paracrine effect”: one of the notable aspects of this therapy is its ability to dampen the immune response. This feature holds particular significance for patients dealing with autoimmune diseases or transplant rejection. 
  • Boost the healing process: the therapy can help regenerate damaged blood vessel tissues.
  • Promote angiogenesis: stem cells for atherosclerosis stimulate the formation of new and functional capillaries in areas where blood flow is impaired, a process known as angiogenesis.

It’s important to point out that stem cell clinics are still studying the impact of this therapy. It’s critical to consult with a specialist before you choose any such treatment.

The Impact of Stem Cell Therapy on Atherosclerosis

At the moment, cell therapy is the most actively developed treatment. It can offer effective results for managing CVD associated with atherosclerosis. However,  stem cells for atherosclerosis have their limits.

Doctors have used stem cells directly in the arteries or muscles of patients with severe peripheral artery disease (PAD). Some studies found positive outcomes. Patients experienced

  • Reduced risk of stroke or heart attack
  • Longer periods without amputations
  • Improved quality of life

However, PAD patients who also had other issues — for instance, active smokers or people with alcohol or drug addiction — saw less results than their more healthy counterparts. 

So, if you are considering getting stem cell therapy for vascular disease, we encourage you to book a free no-obligation consultation with one of our professionals and learn how it can help you. Many factors can impact its effectiveness, like whether you have any comorbidities or unhealthy habits. 

Safety of Stem Cell Therapy and Possible Side Effects

The adverse reactions to stem cell therapy for vascular disease vary. 

These can include:

  • Low-grade fever
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion
  • Chills

They tend to be mild and short-term. 

Overall, any stem cell center considers this therapy to be very effective and relatively safe. 

What Type of Improvements Can I Expect from Stem Cell Therapy?

Some of the improvements from stem cell therapy for peripheral vascular disease can include:

  • Better blood flow
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Tissue regeneration 
  • Prevention of plaque formation
  • Symptom relief (i.e. chest pain or discomfort)
  • Improved cardiovascular function

Keep in mind that many factors can influence the effects of mesenchymal stem cells atherosclerosis. More data is necessary to study its long-term safety and efficacy. 

So far, gene therapy stem cells in mice atherosclerosis have proved useful for reducing inflammation. Therefore, it can have good therapeutic potential. 

Cost of Stem Cell Therapy for Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease

The stem cell treatment cost depends on the treatment facility, number of sessions, location, and any additional services. Like diagnostic tests, consultations, follow-up appointments, etc. It can cost anywhere from €7,000 to €25,000.

The factors that affect the price are:

  • The source of the cells
  • The number of cells used
  • Type of stem cells
  • The location of the stem cell clinic

Before you make any financial commitment, it’s always recommended to do your research. For instance, talk to a specialist in your local area, read the research, and find out more about the nature of these cells. For example, are they sourced from bone marrow, adipose tissue, or the umbilical cord? One of our healthcare experts can always guide you through the whole process.

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Contact us to learn about the expected results of the treatment, its cost and duration.

Stem Cell Therapy for Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease
Dr. Aleksandra Fetyukhina, MD

Medical Advisor, Swiss Medica doctor

List of References

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