Cell-based therapy is a promising option for treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Based on experimental studies demonstrating that bone marrow-derived stem and progenitor cells improve the functional recovery after ischemia, clinical trials were initiated to address this new therapeutic concept. So far, clinical studies preferentially used adult bone marrow-derived cells for the treatment of patients with acute myocardial infarction. Overall, cell therapy was shown to reduce the infarct size and improve cardiac contractile function. However, the extent of functional improvement varied between the studies and various questions remain. The present review article will discuss the heterogeneity of the clinical results, the timing of the cell delivery and the benefit achieved so far in different patient populations.
Copyright (c) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.