Stem cells from diseased hearts can treat cardiac failureNovember 22nd, 2010 - 3:29 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Nov 22 (IANS) Cardiac stem cells, even those derived from ageing or diseased hearts, could yield new muscle and tissues to treat heart failure.
Scientists surgically removed tissue from the muscular wall of the heart’s chambers in a group of male and female patients. They then isolated and multiplied the cardiac stem cells found there.
Most of the patients had ischemic cardiomyopathy - enlarged and weakened muscle due to coronary artery disease. Some also had diabetes. The average age of patients was about 65.
“Regardless of the gender or age of the patient, or of diabetes, we were able to isolate in all of them a pool of functional cardiac stem cells that we can potentially use to rescue the decompensated human heart,” study author Domenico D’Amario was quoted as saying in a Harvard statement.
D’Amario is a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Harvard, Boston, US.
Among the patients’ group, researchers obtained 20 percent more cardiac stem cells from the hearts of the women than the men. Age or diabetes status didn’t affect the number of cells harvested.
These findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2010.
Women have a longer life span than men, and even with heart failure their hearts generally show more resilience — possibly explaining the researchers’ finding, D’Amario said.
The heart’s cardiac stem cells reserve is present regardless of patient differences in ethnicity, background, diet and other factors, he added.
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Tags: amario, american heart association, cardiac failure, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, diabetes status, diseased hearts, female patients, group researchers, harvard boston, heart failure, heart study, human heart, life span, men age, muscular wall, post doctoral fellow, resilience, stem cells, study author