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Stem Cell Research

Bone Marrow Stem Cells Help Alleviate Heart Failure

16 years, 2 months ago

1745  0
Posted on May 30, 2003, 11 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Results of a recent study suggest that stem cell transplants could help to treat people with severe heart failure. Dr James T Willerson of the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas found that injecting stem cells obtained from a patient's  bone marrow into their failing heart tissue appeared to alleviate some of the symptoms of severe heart failure.

Results of a recent study suggest that stem cell transplants could help to treat people with severe heart failure. Dr James T Willerson of the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas found that injecting stem cells obtained from a patient's  bone marrow into their failing heart tissue appeared to alleviate some of the symptoms of severe heart failure. Four months after injecting the 14 study participants with their own stem cells, Willerson and his colleagues found that the patients were exhibiting improvements in blood flow in and out of the heart and better functioning in areas of heart tissue that were previously impaired. Furthermore, the treated participants had fewer symptoms. None of these improvements were seen in seven "control" heart failure patients who were not given an injection of adult stem cells. Willerson suspects that the injected stem cells may help to treat heart failure by forming new blood vessels and heart muscle cells, and also by stimulating the production of substances which themselves produce more blood vessels and recruit additional stem cells to the scene. Due to the promising findings of the study, the researchers are now planning a larger-scale trial.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Circulation 2003;10.1161/01.CIR.0000070596.30552.8B.

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