Background Clinical effectiveness of autologous skeletal cell-patch implantation for nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy has not been clearly elucidated in clinical settings. This clinical study aimed to determine the feasibility, safety, therapeutic efficacy, and the predictor of responders of this treatment in patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy. Methods and Results Twenty-four nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy patients with left ventricular ejection fraction <35% on optimal medical therapy were enrolled. Autologous cell patches were implanted over the surface of the left ventricle through left minithoracotomy without procedure-related complications and lethal arrhythmia. We identified 13 responders and 11 nonresponders using the combined indicator of a major cardiac adverse event and incidence of heart failure event. In the responders, symptoms, exercise capacity, and cardiac performance were improved postoperatively (New York Heart Association class II 7 [54%] and III 6 [46%] to New York Heart Association class II 12 [92%] and I 1 [8%], P<0.05, 6-minute walk test; 471 m [370-541 m] to 525 m [425-555 m], P<0.05, left ventricular stroke work index; 31.1 g·m2·beat [22.7-35.5 g·m2·beat] to 32.8 g·m2·beat [28-38.5 g·m2·beat], P=0.21). However, such improvement was not observed in the nonresponders. In responders, the actuarial survival rate was 90.9±8.7% at 5 years, which was superior to the estimated survival rate of 70.9±5.4% using the Seattle Heart Failure Model. However, they were similar in nonresponders (47.7±21.6% and 56.3±8.1%, respectively). Multivariate regression model with B-type natriuretic peptide, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, and expression of histone H3K4me3 (H3 lysine 4 trimethylation) strongly predicted the responder of this treatment (B-type natriuretic peptide: odds ratio [OR], 0.96; pulmonary capillary wedge pressure: OR, 0.58; H3K4me3: OR, 1.35, receiver operating characteristic-area under the curve, 0.96, P<0.001). Conclusions This clinical trial demonstrated that autologous skeletal stem cell-patch implantation might promise functional recovery and good clinical outcome in selected patients with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, in addition to safety and feasibility. Registration URL: http://www.umin.ac.jp/english/. Unique identifiers: UMIN000003273, UMIN0000012906 and UMIN000015892.
Keywords: cardiac regenerative therapy; heart failure; nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy.