Cardiac stem cells 'heal heart damage'

· Health
Authors

BBC

Stem cells taken from a patient’s own heart have, for the first time, been used to repair damaged heart tissue, researchers claim.

The study, published in the Lancet, was designed to test the procedure’s safety, but also reported improvements in the heart’s ability to pump blood.

The authors said the findings were “very encouraging” Other experts said techniques with bone marrow stem cells were more advanced and that bigger trials were needed.

The scientists say this is the first reported case of cardiac stem cells being used as a treatment in people after earlier studies had shown benefits in
animals.

The preliminary trial was on patients with heart failure who were having heart bypass surgery. During the operation, a piece of heart tissue, from the
right atrial appendage, was taken.

While the patient was being sewn up, researchers isolated cardiac stem cells from the sample and cultured them until they had about two million stem cells for each patient. The cells were injected about 100 days later.

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