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Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2012 Oct;14(5):491-503. doi: 10.1007/s11883-012-0273-9.

Cardiac stem cells in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy: discovery, translation, and clinical investigation.

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Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Louisville, 550 S Jackson Street, ACB Bldg, 3rd Floor, Louisville, KY 40202, USA.


The increasing prevalence of heart failure, in the US and worldwide, poses a significant burden to patients, practitioners, and healthcare systems. Hence, there is a pressing need for alternative therapies to enhance the current treatment armamentarium. Accordingly, when considering heart failure of ischemic etiology, an intervention designed to regenerate the attending loss of myocardium could potentially result in improved cardiac function, functional status, and quality of life. Significant strides have been made by investigators in the study of stem cell therapy for cardiac repair; recently with cardiac-derived progenitor cells. These cells include cardiospheres, cardiosphere-derived cells, and c-kit positive cardiac stem cells. Herein, a review of both preclinical studies and phase I clinical trials of these cell types is presented. A detailed account of in vitro characterization, in vivo bioactivity, and safety and efficacy in humans is outlined. Thus far, encouraging results have been realized, although larger studies have yet to be undertaken.

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