Using endothelial cells for therapeutic angiogenesis/vasculogenesis of ischemia diseases has led to exploring human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) as a potentially unlimited source for endothelial progenitor cells. With their capacity for self-renewal and pluripotency, hESCs and their derived endothelial cells (hESC-ECs) may be more advantageous than other endothelial cells obtained from diseased populations. However, hESC-ECs' poor differentiation efficiency and poorly characterized in vivo function after transplantation present significant challenges for their future clinical application. This review will focus on the differentiation pathways of hESCs and their therapeutic potential for vascular diseases, as well as the monitoring of transplanted cells' fate via molecular imaging. Finally, cell enhancement strategies to improve the engraftment efficiency of hESC-ECs will be discussed. J. Cell. Biochem. 106: 194–199, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.