In 1997, the seminal manuscript by Asahara, Murohara, Isner et al outlined the evidence for the existence of circulating, bone marrow-derived cells capable of stimulating and contributing to the formation of new blood vessels. Consistent with the paradigm shift that this work represented, it triggered much scientific debate and controversy, some of which persists 2 decades later. In contrast, the clinical application of autologous CD34 cell therapy has been marked by a track record of consistent safety and clinical benefit in multiple ischemic conditions. In this review, we summarize the preclinical and clinical evidence from over 700 patients in clinical trials of CD34 cell therapy.