Although it is known that LDL-apheresis improves ischemic limb seen in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD), anti-inflammatory effects are not well known. We studied whether or not serum or plasma levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), monocyte chemoatractant protein-1 (MCP-1), or fibrinogen could contribute to favorable effects for ischemic limbs after LDL-apheresis. Twenty-eight patients with PAOD (24 men, 4 women) were enrolled in our study. LDL-apheresis was performed 10 times (treated plasma of 3,000 ml) for 5 weeks. Serum levels of logarithmically transformed values of hsCRP significantly decreased from 3.666 ± 0.126 to 3.482 ± 0.139 ng/ml before and after a single session of LDL-apheresis (P < 0.001). Serum levels of MCP-1 decreased from 233 ± 17.5 to 187 ± 13.5 pg/ml before and after LDL-apheresis (P < 0.05). Likewise, plasma fibrinogen levels statistically decreased from 196 ± 9.82 to 159 ± 9.60 mg/dl (P < 0.001). Overall rates of improvement including foot dullness or numbness, and double folds increase in walking distance were 82.1% 3 months after a completion of LDL-apheresis, while gangrene was only improved 14.3%. Intermittent claudication improved in 53.6%. The favorable actions of LDL-apheresis might include anti-inflammatory effects. To avoid amputation, LDL-apheresis should be applied for patients with PAOD at an early stage of the disease process and may be applicable for patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disorders.
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