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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Panminerva Medica 2004 March;46(1):13-23

language: English

Cell therapy for ischemic heart disease

Bonaros N. 1, Yang S. 2, Ott H. 2, Kocher A. 2, Song Y. 2

1 Department of Cardiac Surgery University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
2 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria


Despite advances in pharmacological therapies, cardiovascular surgery, use of mechanical assist devices, and organ transplantation, more than 50% of the patients with clinically evident heart failure die within 5 years of the initial diagnosis. The use of cellular therapy offers a promising approach for both the prevention and treatment of heart failure. This review will discuss the current state of this emerging field and the prospects to introduce the method into clinical practice. Since functional restoration of the damaged heart presents a formidable challenge, developing strategies for the prevention of postinfarct heart failure remains of utmost priority. Recent research has provided evidence that several cell lines including adult or embryonic stem cells, skeletal myoblasts, fetal cardiomyocytes or fibroblasts may be useful in strategies that aim to both prevent and treat heart failure through establishment of new blood vessels supplying surviving heart muscle cells and replacement of damaged heart muscle cells themselves. It is therefore reasonable to anticipate that new strategies will be developed to optimize cell delivery, homing and survival in the failing myocardium improving myocardial recovery after acute or chronic deterioration.

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