Enhanced revascularisation after angiogenic stimulation in a rabbit model of bilateral limb ischaemia

Lee Li-Qun Pu, Gregory R. Gadowski, Alan M. Graham, Michael A. Ricci, Roland Brassard, Allan D. Sniderman, James F. Symes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: We previously demonstrated stimulation of collateral vessel formation in a rabbit model of unilateral limb ischaemia after administration of endothelial cell growth factor (ECGF). To distinguish clearly the effects of ischaemia alone from those of ischaemia combined with angiogenic stimulation in the same animal, a model of bilateral hindlimb ischaemia was used to evaluate further the angiogenic effect of ECGF. Design: Ischaemia was produced in both hindlimbs of 11 rabbits by femoral artery excision. Beginning 10 days later, ECGF (8 mg in 3 ml of saline) was injected in one hindlimb while 3 ml of saline alone was injected in the other every other day for a total of five doses. Outcome measures: Calf systolic blood pressure was measured in both limbs on postoperative days 10, 30, and 50. On day 50, collateral formation was quantitated angiographically, and muscle samples were obtained for quantitation of capillary density and histologic studies. Results: The mean calf systolic blood pressure in the both hindlimbs was similar on day 10 (36.9 ± 2.3 versus 38.1 ± 2.9 mmHg) but was significantly higher in the ECGF-treated limb on day 30 (68.9 ± 3.1 versus 45.0 ± 2.9 mmHg) and day 50 (83.0 ± 3.0 versus 57.0 ± 1.7; p <0.0001 for both comparisons). On day 50, collateral vessels were significantly more numerous in the ECGF-treated limb (17.2 ± 1.6 versus 11.0 ± 0.8; p < 0.0006), as were capillaries (225.9 ± 11.4 versus 159.6 ± 12.9 per mm2; p < 0.002). Conclusion: Local administration of ECGF enhanced collateral development leading to significantly improved perfusion in the treated as compared with the untreated limb in the same animal. Exogenous administration of an angiogenic mitogen can upregulate the normal collateral response to ischaemia and may be useful in treating severe limb ischaemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Arterial insufficiency
  • Collateral vessels
  • Growth factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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