Thromboangiitis obliterans (TAO) or Buerger’s disease is a recurring progressive inflammation and thrombosis (clotting) which involves the small and medium arteries and veins of the hands and feet.
The causes of Thromboangiitis Obliterans may be relevant with many aspects. The blood vessels keep in convulsion status, which affects the blood supply of the blood vessels and can cause ischemic impairment for the wall of vessels and lead to inflammation as well as the formation of thrombosis.
2. Coldness and infection
3. Sexual hormone
5. Immune factor
TAO is not obvious at the beginning and progresses slowly, presenting as periodically onset. Patient’s condition will be more and more serious after a relatively long period of time. Positive Burger examination, Allen examination, and Nerve block test in the physical examination can help the diagnosis of TAO.
1. Cold feeling and abnormal sensations
Temperature around the lesion area is lower, especially the end of toes and fingers. As the nerve ending is affected by the ischemia, the toes or fingers in the lesion area can present with abnormal sensations such as numbness, needling sensation, burning feeling, and thickness feeling etc.
2. Pain: The pain feeling is not severe at the beginning.
3. Intermittent claudication
4. Change on the color of skin around the lesion area: flushing color or cyanosis
5. Decreased or disappeared arterial pulses: dorsalis pedis or posterior tibial arterial pulses, ulnar artery or radial artery
6. Nutrition problems
7. Migrated superficial thrombophlebitis
Treatment for Thromboangiitis Obliterans in ReLife
Medication and procedures that cause vasolidation can relieve the pain for patients in acute cases, such as prostaglandins. Surgeries like Lumbar sympathectomy and bypass are also applied for chronic cases. The applications of vascular growth factor and stem cell therapy have shown positive treatment effects. Stopping smoking can slow the progression and decrease the severity of amputation; however, it does not stop the progression of the disease.
Cell-based Gene Therapy for Thromboangiitis Obliterans
Cell-based gene therapy is a new and effective treatment option for TAO at ReLife. Utilizing the molecular biology method, cell-based gene therapy implants the hepatocyte growth factor – HGF via autologous cells into the lesion area of the patient’s body. Targeting the impaired vessel wall, it can continuously and stably repair the blood vessel endothelium, improving local blood circulation, relieving patient’s symptoms, thereby achieving best treatment effect for TAO.
Adipose tissue is full of adipose stem cells, which have the ability to be easily cultivated in vitro and multiple differentiation capacity. It can effectively participate in the regenerative and repair procedures of the tissue and cells of blood vessel. Adipose tissue is an active endocrine and paracrine organ that secretes various cytokines and biological factors. It is good for the repair of blood vessel wall and the improvement of symptoms.
By taking advantage of adipose stem cell tropism, HGF with significant anti-apoptosis and anti-oxidation effect will be carried into the lesion area by adipose stem cells, enabling HGF continuously and stably effect and improve the blood circulation in lesion region, as well as improve the survival rate and efficiency of adipose stem cells, which makes the treatment effect much better than single application of stem cell therapy. It plays a key role in treating TAO, promoting vasodilation, and bringing a better quality of life.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
The pathogenesis and cause of TAO in TCM are congestion and obstruction of channels. It is related with the attack of cold, moist, heat and poison. Following the classical TCM principles “promoting blood circulation for removing blood stasis”, “clearing away heat and toxic material “, “warm channel and expelling cold ”and “enhancing the Qi and blood”, ReLife treats each patient according to different symptoms and conditions. We apply oral TCM herb drinking to enhance patient’s Qi, nourish the blood, and improve congestion condition, with combination of physical therapy, acupuncture, and natural therapy etc to control the infection and promote the heal of wound. Via treating both local impaired body part and general condition, ReLife designs an individualized treatment plan for each patient, improving the channels’s condition that be impaired by heat and toxic materials, promoting the branch blood circulation of the lesion limbs, controlling the infection effectively, so as to relieve patient’s symptoms and make his/her condition under stable control.
Aiming to overcome TAO and other incurable conditions, ReLife International Medical Center innovates a comprehensive treatment method which develops the advantages of TCM to the most, and integrates gene therapy together to treat TAO in a short period of time with excited treatment results. As proved with clinical research and experiences, the new treatment in ReLife has stable and continuos treatment effect in improving the convulsion status of blood vessels and anti-coagulation and thrombolysis. We utilize green treatment, with integration of nutrition, psychology and rehabilitation to reach the best treatment result we could get. Our goals are improving the blood vessel condition, eliminating the convulsion and thrombosis of blood vessels, increasing patient’s immunity and repair ability of cells, finally bringing a high quality of life to each patient.