Authors reported that although GM-CSF has been safely used in patients with vascular disease, its efficacy in improving vascular function remains unknown.

Dr. Veerappan Subramaniyam from Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, and team investigated 45 patients with atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease not amenable to revascularization to find the effects of GM-CSF on endothelial dysfunction and clinical outcomes.

Authors explained that patients receiving GM-CSF treatment thrice weekly showed increase in leukocytosis, circulating CD34+ cells, and progenitor cell colony-forming units.

It was also noted that after 12 weeks patients treated with GM-CSF had flow-mediated vasodilation increased by 59% but remained unchanged in those receiving placebo. Moreover in GM-CSF-treated patients, pain-free walking time increased by 38 seconds and total walking time by 55 seconds but not in the placebo group.

No dose-limiting toxicities were associated with GM-CSF treatment and was well tolerated. Moreover, the researchers saw no change in endothelium-independent, nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilation.

Against the backdrop of the large public burden of peripheral arterial disease and few available therapies, the investigators conclude, our findings of limited toxicity and possible salutary effects of GM-CSF in vascular disease warrant further study.