Stem Cell Injections Show Promise in Boosting Heart Function

In a recent trial, researchers have found that injecting a patient’s own stem cells from their skeletal muscle into their heart may be a safe and effective way to improve heart function. The study, which was presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, investigated the use of autologous skeletal myoblasts (ASM) in combination with optimal medical therapy (OMT) compared to OMT alone.

The research team, led by Dr. Nabil Dib from the University of California in San Diego, collected stem cells called myoblasts from patients’ thigh muscles. These cells were then grown in a lab to increase their number and injected into the heart using a specialized catheter guided by a three-dimensional mapping system.

The study included 23 heart failure patients with poor heart-pumping function. Of these, 12 received both ASM and OMT, while 11 continued to receive only OMT. After one year, the researchers found that all ASM procedures were successful, with no complications or deaths in either group. Patients who received ASM treatment showed improved heart function, better quality of life, and a decrease in the size of their overworked left ventricles.

Dr. Dib believes that these positive results warrant further investigation in larger, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials to establish the efficacy of myoblast transplantation in heart failure patients. The study was supported by Mytogen, Inc.

This is a summary of article: Stem Cells Infused with Catheter Found Safe, May Boost Heart Function