Objective: The regenerative potential of human autologous adult stem cells on myocardial regeneration and neovascularisation after myocardial infarction may contribute to healing of the infarction area. But no clinical application has previously been reported. We here describe for the first time the results of this method applied in a patient who had sustained an acute myocardial infarction.
History and clinical findings: 14 hours after the onset of left precordial pain a 46-year-old man was admitted to our hospital for interventional diagnosis and treatment. Coronary angiography demonstrated occlusion of the anterior descending branch of the left coronary artery with transmural infarction. This was treated by percutaneous transluminal catheter angioplasty and stent placement.
Therapy and results: Mononuclear bone marrow cells of the patient were prepared and 6 days after infaction 1,2 infinity 107 cells were transplanted at low pressure via a percutaneous transluminal catheter placed in the infarct-related artery. Before and 10 weeks after this procedure left ventricular function, infarct size, ventricular geometry and myocardial perfusion were measured by (201)thallium SPECT both at rest and on exercise, together with bull's-eye analysis, dobutamine stress echocardiography, right heart catheterisation and radionuclide ventriculography. At 10 weeks after the stem cell transplantation the transmural infarct area had been reduced from 24.6 % to 15.7 % of left ventricular circumference, while ejection fraction, cardiac index and stroke volume had increased by 20-30 %. On exercise the end diastolic volume had decreased by 30 % and there was a comparable fall in left ventricular filling pressure (mean pulmonary capillary pressure).
Conclusion: These results for the first time demonstrate that selective intracoronary transplantation of human autologous adult stem cells is possible under clinical conditions and that it can lead to regeneration of the myocardial scar after transmural infarction. The therapeutic effects may be ascribed to stem cell-associated myocardial regeneration and neovascularisation.