Stem Cell Use Gives Hope To Heart Failure Patients

Stem cell usage from patients' own hearts has, for the first time, been shown to battle heart failure.

Cardiac stem cells improved heart function in a small study of 16 patients.

The stem cells also reduced the amount of tissue damage in patients with heart failure.

Yahoo News quoted Dr. Roberto Bolli, director of cardiology at University of Louisville and lead author of the study, saying "If this is confirmed in further studies, it could offer an entirely new option and a potential cure for patients who are now dying from heart failure.”

The heart's blood-pumping efficiency increased from 30.3 percent before the treatment to 38.5 percent after among 14 patients who responded to the stem cell treatment. 

In seven patients who underwent magnetic resonance imaging, the amount of dead heart muscle tissue decreased by 24 percent over four months and by 30 percent over a year.

Bolli said, "What is really exciting about the use of cardiac stem cells is we think we're attacking the fundamental problem: replacing dead tissue with new cardiac muscle … Again, if these results are confirmed, this would be a true revolution in medicine; one of the biggest advances in cardiology in my lifetime."

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