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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2004 Aug;128(2):245-53.

Angiogenic growth factors and/or cellular therapy for myocardial regeneration: a comparative study.

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, European Hospital Georges Pompidou, 20 rue Leblanc, 75015 Paris, France.



Locally delivered angiogenic growth factors and cell implantation have been proposed for patients with myocardial infarcts without a possibility of percutaneous or surgical revascularization. The goal of this study was to compare the effects of these techniques in an experimental model of myocardial infarct.


Left ventricular myocardial infarction was created in 27 sheep by ligation of 2 coronary arteries. Three weeks after creation of the infarct, animals were randomized into 4 groups. In group 1, sheep received a culture medium injection to the infarct area (control group); group 2 underwent autologous myoblast implantation; group 3 received vascular endothelial growth factor; and group 4 received injection of both vascular endothelial growth factor and myoblasts. Evaluation included serum troponin IC levels, echocardiography (2-dimensional and color kinesis), and immunohistologic studies for quantitative analysis of capillaries (3 months after surgery).


Four animals died of refractory ventricular fibrillation during myocardial infarction; 2 died after surgery because of stroke and 2 because of infections. Serum troponin increased to 45.6 +/- 4.7 ng/mL at postinfarction day 2. Echocardiography at 3 months showed a significant limitation of left ventricular dilation in the cell group (57 +/- 11.1 mL) and in the cell plus vascular endothelial growth factor group (58.6 +/- 6.6 mL: control group, 74.4 +/- 11.2 mL; vascular endothelial growth factor group, 68.1 +/- 3.4 mL). Color kinesis echography showed important improvements of regional fractional area change in the cell group (from 13.6% +/- 0.8% to 21.1% +/- 1.5%) and in the cell plus vascular endothelial growth factor group (from 12.8% +/- 0.9% to 18.7% +/- 2.3%). The number of capillaries increased in the peri-infarct region of the vascular endothelial growth factor group (1036 +/- 75: control group, 785 +/- 31; cell group, 830 +/- 75; cell plus vascular endothelial growth factor group, 831 +/- 83).


In the cell therapy groups, regional ventricular contractility improved and heart dilatation was limited compared with either vascular endothelial growth factor or control; thus, postischemic remodeling was reduced. Angiogenesis was demonstrated in the vascular endothelial growth factor group, without improvement of ventricular function and remodeling. To improve local conditions for cell survival, further studies are warranted on prevascularization of myocardial scars with angiogenic therapy.

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