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Lancet. 2003 Feb 8;361(9356):491-2.

Viability and differentiation of autologous skeletal myoblast grafts in ischaemic cardiomyopathy.

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  • 1Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Department of Cardiology, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou and INSERM EMI-16, Necker-Paris V University, Paris, France.


Autologous skeletal myoblast transplantation might improve postinfarction ventricular function, but graft viability and differentiation (ie, proof of concept) has not been shown. A 72-year-old man had autologous cultured myoblasts from his vastus lateralis injected to an area of transmural inferior myocardial infarction in non-reperfused scar tissue. He showed improvement in symptoms and left-ventricular ejection fraction. When he died 17.5 months after the procedure, the grafted post-infarction scar showed well developed skeletal myotubes with a preserved contractile apparatus. 65% of myotubes expressed the slow myosin isoform and 33% coexpressed the slow and fast isoforms (vs 44% and 0.6%, respectively, in skeletal muscle). Myoblast grafts can survive and show a switch to slow-twitch fibres, which might allow sustained improvement in cardiac function.

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