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Stem Cells Transl Med. 2018 Dec;7(12):857-866. doi: 10.1002/sctm.18-0120. Epub 2018 Sep 26.

Safety and Efficacy of Adult Stem Cell Therapy for Acute Myocardial Infarction and Ischemic Heart Failure (SafeCell Heart): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Blueprint Translational Research Group, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Regenerative Medicine Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Division of Critical Care, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Population Health Research Institute, David Braley Cardiac, Vascular, and Stroke Research Institute, Departments of Medicine and Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Anesthesia, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Department of Physiology, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Preclinical and clinical evidence suggests that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) may be beneficial in treating both acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and ischemic heart failure (IHF). However, the safety profile and efficacy of MSC therapy is not well-known. We conducted a systematic review of clinical trials that evaluated the safety or efficacy of MSCs for AMI or IHF. Embase, PubMed/Medline, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched from inception to September 27, 2017. Studies that examined the use of MSCs administered to adults with AMI or IHF were eligible. The Cochrane risk of bias tool was used to assess bias of included studies. The primary outcome was safety assessed by adverse events and the secondary outcome was efficacy which was assessed by mortality and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). A total of 668 citations were reviewed and 23 studies met eligibility criteria. Of these, 11 studies evaluated AMI and 12 studies evaluated IHF. There was no association between MSCs and acute adverse events. There was a significant improvement in overall LVEF in patients who received MSCs (SMD 0.73, 95% CI 0.24-1.21). No significant difference in mortality was noted (Peto OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.38-1.22). Results from our systematic review suggest that MSC therapy for ischemic heart disease appears to be safe. There is a need for a well-designed adequately powered randomized control trial (with rigorous adverse event reporting and evaluations of cardiac function) to further establish a clear risk-benefit profile of MSCs. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2018;7:857-866.


Myocardial infarction; Myocardial ischemia; Stem cells; Systematic review

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