Cell therapy for heart failure: the need for a new therapeutic strategy.
Improvements in the treatment of ischemic heart disease have led to a significant growth in the numbers of patients with systolic heart failure secondary to myocardial injury. Current therapies fail to address the loss of contractile tissue due to myocardial injury. Cell therapy is singular in its promise of primarily treating this underlying issue through salvage of viable myocardium or generation of new contractile tissue. Multiple cell types have been used to target acute myocardial infarction, chronic ischemic heart disease and heart failure due to infarction. Bone marrow mononuclear cells have been used to increase myocardial salvage after acute infarction. Randomized trials of over 800 patients have demonstrated no safety issues, and meta-analyses have suggested an improvement in left ventricular function in treated patients with trends toward improvements in hard cardiac end points. Cell therapy for chronic ischemic heart disease with bone marrow angiogenic progenitors has shown similar safety and trends toward improvement in function. While these therapies have targeted patients with viable myocardium, myoblasts have been used to treat patients with left ventricular dysfunction secondary to transmural infarction. Cell types with cardiomyogenic potential, including induced pluripotent stem cells and cardiac progenitor cells, offer the promise of true myocardial regeneration. Future studies with these cells may open the door for true myocardial regeneration.
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)