Objectives: Our aim was to assess midterm safety and clinical outcomes of intracoronary infusion of cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) after staged palliation in patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).
Methods: In this prospective, controlled study, 14 consecutive patients with HLHS who were undergoing 2- or 3-stage surgical palliations were assigned to receive intracoronary CDC infusion 1 month after cardiac surgery (n = 7), followed by 7 patients allocated to a control group with standard care alone. The primary end point was to assess procedural feasibility and safety; the secondary end point was to evaluate cardiac function and heart failure status through 36-month follow-up.
Results: No complications, including tumor formation, were reported within 36 months after CDC infusion. Echocardiography showed significantly greater improvement in right ventricular ejection fraction (RVEF) in infants receiving CDCs than in controls at 36 months (+8.0% ± 4.7% vs +2.2% ± 4.3%; P = .03). These cardiac function improvements resulted in reduced brain natriuretic peptide levels (P = .04), lower incidence of unplanned catheter interventions (P = .04), and higher weight-for-age z score (P = .02) at 36 months relative to controls. As independent predictors of treatment responsiveness, absolute changes in RVEF at 36 months were negatively correlated with age, weight-for-age z score, and RVEF at CDC infusion.
Conclusions: Intracoronary CDC infusion after staged procedure in patients with HLHS is safe and improves RVEF, which persists during 36-month follow-up. This therapeutic strategy may enhance somatic growth and reduce incidence of heart failure.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01273857.
Keywords: cardiosphere; congenital heart disease; heart failure; hypoplastic left heart syndrome; stem cell therapy.
Copyright © 2015 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.