Stem cells from belly fat can help heart patients

November 18th, 2010 - 1:30 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 18 (IANS) Stem cells extracted from waist fat can help heart attack patients recoup from damage to the organ.

Scientists injected such stem cells into the hearts of coronary patients and found they increased blood flow and improved the organs’ pumping ability.

A group of men and women who had suffered recent heart attacks took part in the pioneering pilot study, given the name Apollo.

Liposuction, a cosmetic procedure commonly used to reduce people’s waistlines, removed up to 250 cubic centimetres of fat from the patients’ bellies, the Daily Mail reports.

From each sample, the researchers isolated and extracted 20 million adult stem cells - degenerative cells with the potential to become more than one kind of tissue. It took nine to 10 minutes to infuse the stem cells into a patient’s heart.

Lead researcher Eric Duckers from Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, said: “The study suggests that these cells can be safely obtained and infused inside the hearts of patients following an acute heart attack.”

The findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions meeting in Chicago.

Six months later, members of the treated group showed a 3.5 percent improvement in heart perfusion - the heart’s ability to receive oxygenated blood.

Compared with the placebo patients in the group, they also experienced a 5.7 percent increase in the amount of blood pumped out by the heart’s left ventricle chamber.

On average, the amount of damaged heart muscle in the treated patients was halved from 31.6 percent to 15.4 percent. In the non-treated group, levels of heart damage remained the same.

The stem cells did not interfere with blood flow and were not associated with any potentially dangerous changes in heart rhythm, the study found.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Health |