Myocardial infarction is the leading cause of congestive heart failure in the industrialized world. Current treatments fail to address the underlying scarring and cell loss, which are the causes of ischaemic heart failure. Recent interest has focused on stem cells, which are undifferentiated and pluripotent cells that can proliferate, potentially self-renew, and differentiate into cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells. Myocardial regeneration is the most widely studied and debated example of stem cell plasticity. Early reports from animal and clinical investigations disagree on the extent of myocardial renewal in adults, but evidence indicates that cardiomyocytes were generated in what was previously considered a postmitotic organ. So far, candidates for cardiac stem cell therapy have been limited to patients with acute myocardial infarction and chronic ischaemic heart failure. Currently, bone marrow stem cells seem to be the most attractive cell type for these patients. The cells may be delivered by means of direct surgical injection, intracoronary infusion, retrograde venous infusion, and transendocardial infusion. Stem cells may directly increase cardiac contractility or passively limit infarct expansion and remodeling. Early phase I clinical studies indicate that stem cell transplantation is feasible and may have beneficial effects on ventricular remodeling after myocardial infarction. Future randomized clinical trials will establish the magnitude of benefit and the effect on mortality after stem cell therapy.
|Translated title of the contribution||Stem cell therapy in cardiovascular diseases|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2005|
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