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Cardiology Patients Treated Successfully With Own Stem Cells

Posted by floriza in Cardiology

A cardiology study conducted at the University of Louisville in Kentucky has found that patients with heart failure could be successfully treated with their own stem cells. The study results were published in the journal, The Lancet, and presented at the American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Florida this fall.

Twenty-three cardiology patients took part in the study, and the stem cells were used on 16 of the patients to repair damaged tissue after a diagnosis of heart failure. Such a procedure had never been done on human patients before. Follow-ups were conducted with the patients after one year. In 50 percent of the patients, their heart function had improved by 12 percent. The researchers had only expected one-third that percentage of improvement.

The improvements experienced were primarily in reduced scarring and increased ejection fraction. Each patient’s heart’s pumping efficiency was measured prior to the stem cell procedure and at four months and one year subsequent to the procedure. The improvement recorded from the four-month follow-up to the one-year follow-up increased from 8.5 percent to 12.3 percent. The reduction in scarring was assessed using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans.

The seven cardiology patients who did not receive the stem cells experienced no changes in their heart function.

The cardiac stem cells are called CSCs, and they have the ability to rebuild heart and artery tissue. The cells were removed when bypass surgery was performed on the patients. They were then kept intact in a laboratory. Four months later, a balloon catheter was used to inject the stem cells into the damaged portion of the heart of each patient.

The cardiology researchers were primarily aiming to determine if using a patient’s own stem cells is safe. They were surprised to discover the amount of improvement in heart function that could be achieved. More studies are needed with larger numbers of patients, but the researchers are hopeful that this therapy could prove to be a breakthrough in the field of cardiology.

What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure is a condition that results when the heart is damaged too much to pump enough blood throughout the body. Heart attack is generally the cause.

Most people who experience heart failure cannot fully recover and see their lives shortened as a result.

Cardiologists in New Jersey and other states conduct tests to determine the health of the heart.

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells from adults are cells that can develop into different types of cells. They can also divide indefinitely to replenish damaged cells or dead cells and regenerate tissue.


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