Use of pentoxifylline as an inhibitor of free radical generation in peripheral vascular disease. Results of a double-blind placebo-controlled study

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1991;41(6):511-5. doi: 10.1007/BF00314976.


The effects of an infusion of pentoxifylline 1 g as an inhibitor of free radical generation have been determined in a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Leucocyte-derived free radical generation (by the superoxide dismutase-inhibitable reduction of ferricytochrome), the release of reactive oxygen metabolites (as plasma oxidant activity), unfractionated leucocyte and erythrocyte filterability rates (using a constant-flow positive-pressure system), plasma viscosity, and plasma fibrinogen concentration have been measured in two matched groups of 10 patients with Stage II peripheral vascular disease, before and after treatment. Transcutaneous oxygen pressure (PtcO2) during treadmill exercise to stress leg circulation was also measured. Leucocyte-derived free radicals were generated during peripheral ischaemia. Pentoxifylline inhibited their generation, blocked the release of reactive oxygen metabolites, and reduced impairment of the filterability rate of unfractionated leucocytes. The improvements were accompanied by significant shortening of the half-time of recovery of transcutaneous oxygen pressure, indicating that ischaemic damage had been contained.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Free Radicals / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / metabolism*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Pentoxifylline / administration & dosage
  • Pentoxifylline / metabolism
  • Pentoxifylline / pharmacology*
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Risk Factors
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Walking


  • Free Radicals
  • Superoxides
  • Oxygen
  • Pentoxifylline