Background: Studies have revealed that stem cells improve clinical outcomes in patients with severe ischemic cardiomyopathy, but the role of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells is not well understood.
Methods: Twenty-two patients received an implantation of autologous bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell therapy; another 23 patients were placed in a control group after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) of the chronically occluded left anterior descending artery.
Results: Reversible defect in the cell therapy group decreased from 16 +/- 8% at baseline to 6 +/- 2% at 12 months (p < 0.05), and this improvement was maintained throughout the entire follow-up period. Compared to the control group (5 +/- 3 METS at baseline vs. 5 +/- 3 METS at 3 months; p = NS), the level of exercise tolerance improved significantly 3 months after cell therapy (5 +/- 2 METS at baseline vs. 7 +/- 3 METS at 3 months; p < 0.05). The NYHA function class also improved in the cell therapy group (2.7 +/- 0.8 at baseline vs. 1.6 +/- 0.1 at 3 months; p < 0.05). PCI alone did not increase left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), but following stem cell therapy, the LVEF increased significantly from 26 +/- 6% at baseline to 37 +/- 9% at 3 months (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Intracoronary transplantation of autologous bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells improved clinical outcomes in patients with chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy.