Waon therapy mobilizes CD34+ cells and improves peripheral arterial disease

J Cardiol. 2010 Nov;56(3):361-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2010.08.004. Epub 2010 Sep 16.


Background: We previously reported that Waon therapy upregulates endothelial nitric oxide synthase protein, and augments ischemia-induced angiogenesis in mice with hindlimb ischemia, and it improves limb ischemia in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The aim of this study was to investigate the underlying mechanism of Waon therapy for the treatment of patients with PAD, and to determine whether Waon therapy can mobilize blood-derived progenitor cells.

Methods: 21 consecutive PAD patients received standard medications, and were randomly divided into control (n=10) and Waon therapy groups (n=11). The Waon therapy group received Waon therapy daily for 6 weeks. The control group continued conventional therapy for 6 weeks. Leg pain was scored using a visual analogue scale. The ankle-brachial pressure index (ABPI) and the 6-min walking distance were measured at baseline and 6 weeks after therapy. Frequency of circulating CD34+ progenitor cell numbers was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and the serum nitrate and nitrite levels were also measured at baseline and 6 weeks after therapy.

Results: The leg pain score, ABPI and the 6-min walking distance improved significantly after 6 weeks in the Waon therapy group, but not in the control group. Frequency of circulating CD34+ cells increased after 6 weeks of Waon therapy [2.0 ± 1.2 (×10(-4)) at baseline to 3.9 ± 1.9 (×10(-4)), p=0.015], while it remained unchanged in the control group [1.8 ± 1.8 (×10(-4)) at baseline to 1.2 ± 0.9 (×10(-4))]. Serum nitrate and nitrite levels increased significantly after Waon therapy (29.6 ± 17.6 to 36.0 ± 17.7 μmol/ml, p<0.05), but not in the control group (34.4 ± 9.4 to 38.3 ± 8.8 μmol/ml).

Conclusion: Waon therapy mobilized circulating endothelial progenitor cells and improved limb ischemia in patients with PAD. Waon therapy is a highly promising therapy for patients with PAD.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD34*
  • Blood Cell Count*
  • Endothelial Cells*
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization*
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods*
  • Infrared Rays / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / therapy*
  • Steam Bath
  • Stem Cells*


  • Antigens, CD34