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Circ Res. 2005 Oct 14;97(8):756-62. Epub 2005 Sep 8.

Transplantation of blood-derived progenitor cells after recanalization of chronic coronary artery occlusion: first randomized and placebo-controlled study.

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Department of Cardiology, Heart, University of Leipzig, Germany.


Transplantation of blood-derived circulating progenitor cells (CPC) has been shown to improve myocardial regeneration after myocardial infarction. It remains unclear whether CPC transplantation exerts beneficial effects also in patients with chronic myocardial ischemia. We initiated a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the impact of intracoronary infusion of CPCs on coronary vasomotion and left ventricular (LV) function in patients after recanalization of chronic coronary total occlusion (CTO). After recanalization of CTO, 26 patients (age, 63+/-2 years; LV ejection fraction, 53+/-2%) were randomly assigned to the treatment (intracoronary transplantation of CPCs) or control group. Coronary flow reserve in response to adenosine (2.4 mg/min) was measured in the target vessel at the beginning of the study and after 3 months. LV function and infarct size were assessed by MRI and metabolism by 18F deoxyglucose positron emission tomography. CPC application resulted in an increase in coronary flow reserve by 43% from 2.3+/-0.3 to 3.3+/-0.5 (P<0.05 versus beginning and control). At 3 months, the number of hibernating segments in the target region (from 2.9+/-0.6 to 2.0+/-0.6 segments, P<0.05 versus beginning and control) had declined in the treatment group, whereas no significant changes were observed in the control group. MRI revealed a reduction in infarct size by 16% and an increase in LV ejection fraction by 14% in the treatment group (from 51.7+/-3.7 to 58.9+/-3.2%; P<0.05 versus beginning and control) because of an augmented wall motion in the target region. Hence, intracoronary transplantation of CPCs after recanalization of CTO results in an improvement of macro- and microvascular function and contributes to the recruitment of hibernating myocardium.

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