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Open Access Two-Dimensional Speckle Tracking Strain Analysis for Efficacy Assessment of Myocardial Cell Therapy

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The subtle effects of transplanted bone marrow cells (BMC) on regional myocardial behavior in patients with ischemic heart disease are difficult to assess. Novel echocardiographic techniques can quantify regional myocardial deformation (strain) and distinguish between passive and active wall motion. We hypothesized that this technique may help delineate cell therapy-induced changes in regional LV contractility that escape clinical routine studies. Twelve patients with coronary artery disease and impaired LV function (LVEF &<35%) underwent CABG surgery plus intramyocardial injection of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells. Between two and five predefined segments of ischemic myocardium per patient received BMCs, and untreated ischemic segments served as internal controls. Segmental echocardiographic analysis of peak systolic strain by speckle tracking was performed before and 1 year after surgery and compared with standard wall motion analysis. Two patients died during the follow-up period. In the remaining 10 patients, mean LVEF increased from 24.5 ± 10% to 32.1 ± 11% (p = 0.02). A moderate improvement of systolic function was noted in ischemic control segments by both wall motion score (WMS) and 2D strain echocardiography (2DSE). In BMC-treated segments, WMS improved slightly, but the data failed to reach statistical significance. As assessed by 2DSE, however, systolic function of BMC-treated segments improved by nearly 100%. 2DSE proved to detect BMC-induced change with 30-fold higher sensitivity than WMS, and the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve (ROC) confirmed the diagnostic precision of 2DSE (area-under-the-ROC = 0.87). We conclude that echocardiographic speckle tracking two-dimensional strain analysis can detect cell therapy-induced changes in regional contractile function that may escape detection by standard wall motion assessment. Thus, 2DSE may be a useful tool for the further development of clinical cardiac cell therapy.

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Keywords: Myocardial cell therapy; Speckle tracking; Two-dimensional strain analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin, Berlin, Germany. [email protected]

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.

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

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