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Feasibility and Safety of Autologous Myoblast Transplantation in Patients With Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

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Successful autologous skeletal myoblast transplantation into infarcted myocardium in a variety of animal models has demonstrated improvement in cardiac function. We evaluated the safety and feasibility of transplanting autologous myoblasts into infarcted myocardium of patients undergoing concurrent coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or left ventricular assist device implantation (LVAD). In addition, we sought to gain preliminary information on graft survival and any potential improvement of cardiac function. Eighteen patients with a history of ischemic cardiomyopathy participated in a phase I, nonrandomized, multicenter pilot study of autologous skeletal myoblast transplantation concurrent with CABG or LVAD implantation. Twelve patients with a history of previous myocardial infarction (MI) and a left ventricular ejection of less than 30% were enrolled in the CABG arm. In a second arm, six patients underwent LVAD implantation as a bridge to heart transplantation and were required to donate their heart for testing at the time of heart transplant. Myoblasts were successfully transplanted in all patients without any acute injection-related complications or significant long-term unexpected adverse events. Follow-up PET scans showed new areas of viability within the infarct scar in CABG patients. Echocardiography measured an average improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) from 25% to 34%. Histological evaluation in four out of five patients who underwent heart transplantation documented survival and engraftment of the skeletal myoblasts within the infarcted myocardium. These interim results demonstrate survival, feasibility, and safety of autologous myoblast transplantation and suggest that this modality may offer a potential therapeutic treatment for end-stage heart disease.

Keywords: Autologous; Cell transplantation; Myoblast; Myocardial infarction

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Arizona Heart Institute, Phoenix, AZ 2: Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 3: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 4: University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 5: Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 6: Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 7: Scottsdale Medical Imaging Ltd., Scottsdale, AZ 8: Diacrin, Inc., Charlestown, MA

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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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.

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