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Autotransplantation of Unmanipulated Bone Marrow Into Scarred Myocardium Is Safe and Enhances Cardiac Function in Humans

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Stem cell transplants into damaged myocardium may have the potential to improve cardiac function. We investigated the safety of transplanting unmanipulated autologous bone marrow into infarcted myocardium of patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery and assessed its efficacy to improve cardiac function. Fourteen patients with one or more areas of transmural myocardial infarction were studied. Autologous bone marrow was obtained by sternal bone aspirate at the time of surgery, diluted in autologous serum at a ratio of 1:2, and then injected 1 cm apart into the mid-depth of the left ventricular scar. There were no deaths, no perioperative myocardial infarctions, and no significant ventricular arrhythmias. Dobutamine stress echocardiography demonstrated overall improvement in the global and regional left ventricular function 6 weeks and 10 months after surgery. Of 34 infarcted left ventricular segments, 11 were injected with bone marrow alone, 13 were revascularized with a bypass graft alone, and 10 received bone marrow transplantation and a bypass graft in combination. Only the left ventricle segmental wall motion score of the areas injected with bone marrow and receiving a bypass graft in combination improved at low dose and at peak dobutamine stress. These findings suggest that transplantation of unmanipulated autologous bone marrow into scar tissue of the human heart is safe and enhances cardiac function only when used in combination with myocardial revascularization. This benefit can be seen after 6 weeks of the bone marrow transplant and is maintained after 10 months of follow-up.
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Keywords: Bone marrow; Human; Infarcted myocardium; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Integrative Human Cardiovascular Physiology and Cardiac Surgery, University of Leicester, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, LE3 9QP, UK 2: †Department of Cardiology, University of Leicester, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, LE3 9QP, UK 3: ‡Division of Haematology, University of Leicester, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, LE3 9QP, UK 4: §Department of Surgery, University of Leicester, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, LE3 9QP, UK

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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