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Open Access Myoblast Transfer in Ischemic Heart Failure: Effects on Rhythm Stability

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Skeletal myoblast (SM) implantation promotes recovery of myocardial function after ischemic injury. Clinical observations suggest an association of SM implantation and ventricular arrhythmias. Support for this link has been sought in animal studies, but none employing models of congestive heart failure. In a canine model of postinfarction congestive heart failure (CHF) we compared the frequency of rhythm disturbances using ambulatory electrocardiography monitoring following skeletal myoblast or saline (SAL) implantation. In 19 mongrel dogs ischemic injury and CHF were induced by intracoronary microsphere infusions. Direct intramyocardial injection of autologous skeletal myoblasts (ASM) (2.7‐8.3 × 108 cells) or SAL controls was administered to 11 and 8 dogs, respectively. Serial echocardiography and 24-h ambulatory electrocardiography were recorded at baseline (after CHF induction) and at 4 weeks and at 8‐10 weeks after injection. Comparisons between groups of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and the frequency of ventricular arrhythmias, supraventricular arrhythmias, and measures of heart rate variability (HRV) were made at each of the three time points. LVEF increased from 41 ± 6% to 47 ± 2% (p < 0.03) in the ASM group, and did not change (42 ± 6% to 40 ± 2%, p = ns) in SAL. After injection, no differences were seen in the number of dogs demonstrating ventricular tachycardia (n = 3 vs. n = 2, p = ns) or frequent PVCs (n = 3 vs. n = 3, p = ns) in the ASM versus SAL groups, respectively. Significant changes were observed in a time‐domain measure of HRV, standard deviation of normal-to-normal RR interval (in ms: 4 weeks 174 ± 95 vs. 242 ± 19; 8 weeks 174 ± 78 vs. 276 ± 78, ASM vs. SAL), but not in other time domain parameters. In this canine model of ischemic CHF, ASM implantation did not result in a significant increase in ventricular arrhythmias compared to controls animals. The potential for ASM implantation to affect time‐domain parameters of HRV merits further study.

Keywords: Canine model; Congestive heart failure; Heart rate variability; Skeletal myoblasts; Ventricular arrhythmia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Division of Cardiology, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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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.
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