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Cardiovasc Ther. 2010 Oct;28(5):e101-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5922.2010.00208.x.

Stem cell therapy in cardiovascular disorders.

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  • 1Hanseatic Heart Center Hamburg, Department of Cardiology, Asklepios Hospital St. Georg, Hamburg, Germany.


Heart insufficiency remains the leading cause of death despite pharmacological and interventional therapy as well as primary and secondary prevention. Laboratory research on cardiac repair implementing stem cells and progenitor cells has raised great expectations as well as controversies. The potential of diverse progenitor cells to repair damaged heart tissue includes replacement (tissue transplant), restoration (activation of resident cardiac progenitor cells, paracrine effects), and regeneration (stem cell engraftment forming new myocytes). Based on promising experimental results clinical trials including several hundreds of patients with ischemic heart disease have been initiated using mostly bone marrow-derived cells. Probably, due to a lack of standardization of cell isolation and delivery methods these trials showed controverse results regarding effectiveness. However, significant therapeutic regeneration of human myocardium could not be proven until now. Several issues are at debate concerning the translation of the experimental data into the clinic discussing the adequate cell type, dosing, timing, and delivery mode of myocardial stem cell therapy. This review focuses on the potential and clinical translation of cell based therapies in cardiovascular disease.

© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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