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Circ Res. 2007 Apr 27;100(8):1234-41. Epub 2007 Mar 22.

Transcoronary transplantation of functionally competent BMCs is associated with a decrease in natriuretic peptide serum levels and improved survival of patients with chronic postinfarction heart failure: results of the TOPCARE-CHD Registry.

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  • 1Cardiology and Molecular Cardiology, Department of Medicine III, J.W. Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany.


Although intracoronary administration of bone marrow-derived mononuclear progenitor cells (BMCs) may be associated with improved cardiac function in patients with chronic postinfarction heart failure, the impact on prognosis and clinical outcome of these patients is unknown. To identify potential predictors for a favorable clinical outcome, we assessed natriuretic peptide serum levels as objective markers of heart failure and the occurrence of cardiac death in relation to functional capacity of the infused cells in a consecutive series of 121 patients with chronic ischemic heart disease treated with intracoronary infusion of BMCs. Our analyses show that both N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and N-terminal pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (NT-proANP) serum levels were significantly reduced in patients with established postinfarction heart failure 3 months after transcoronary progenitor cell administration. NT-proBNP serum levels greater than or equal to median (735 pg/mL) at baseline and a high number of infused progenitor cells with colony-forming capacity were the only independent predictors of a favorable response 3 months after intracoronary administration of BMCs. During extended clinical follow-up (577+/-442 days), a total of 14 deaths occurred in the overall patient population. Kaplan-Meier curves for both all cause and cardiac mortality showed that patients receiving a higher number of colony-forming cells were significantly less likely to die than those patients receiving low numbers of colony-forming cells (P=0.01). Most importantly, infusion of a high number of cells with colony-forming capacity was associated with a complete abrogation of increased mortality in patients with elevated NT-proBNP serum levels (> or =735 pg/mL; median) at baseline (P<0.001). Taken together, our results show that patients with objective evidence of postinfarction heart failure demonstrate a significant reduction of both NT-proBNP and NT-proANP serum levels within 3 months following intracoronary infusion of BMCs. Importantly, infusion of progenitor cells with a high functional capacity is associated with a significantly lower mortality during further follow-up.

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