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Scar Tissue Caused By Heart Attack Can Be Reversed Using Stem Cells

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Scar Tissue Caused By Heart Attack Can Be Reversed Using Stem Cells

Soon the heart damage resulted after aheart attackcanbeconsiderablyreversedusing stem cells extracted from the patient’s ownheart. During a heart attack,the heart muscleis deprived of oxygen due to the formation of a blood clot. Therefore, even if the patient’s heart heals after thisunfortunate event,a scar tissue is formed and that the heart pumping functionis affected. For this reason, researchers worldwide are working to find a way to heal heart tissue and improve heart function resulted from prolonged ischemia.

Scientists at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute performed a study to determine whether stem cells extracted from the patient’sown heart can help repair the newlyformedscar tissue . The study was conducted ona group of25 patients. One month after suffering a heart attack, patients underwent a special procedure duringwhicha tube into a vein in the neck to reach the heart was insertedand a sample of heart tissue was removed. Stem cells from the tissue sample were then grown in the laboratory. When researchers managed to obtain about 25 million cells, they injected the stem cells backin the arteriessurrounding the heartof thepatient.

Cardiac Stem Cell

Cardiac Stem Cell

The research found that after the heart attack about 24% of the left ventricularwas represented by scar tissue. This percentage went downafter 6 months of treatment to 16%. Subsequently, a year after the procedure, the results showed that scar tissue accounted foronly 12% of the left ventricle.

Scientists stated that stem cells“have an unprecedented ability to reduce scar and simultaneously stimulate the regrowth of healthy [heart] tissue”. Althoughthe researchmainobjective was to test thesafety of the method,scientists alsoobserved during this particular studyhow stem cell therapy stimulates healthy tissue growth and promotesscar tissue removal .

Over a decade ofcell therapy trialsfailed toachieve comparable results until now.According to study author Dr. Eduardo Marban, he and his team arethe first to record sucha success. Effects are substantial and the results are better than they were inthe animal testing phase.

However,even ifstem cellsmanged torestore ventricular total capacity,the ejection fractionremained unchanged (amount of blood ejectedwith each beat from the left ventricle). Furthermore, other scientists whorecognize the findingsas verypromising, suggest that the study was conductedona very small sample of patients and therefore further researchon larger samplesis requiredfor more accurate data.