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J Atheroscler Thromb. 2014;21(3):217-29. Epub 2013 Oct 12.

Intracoronary infusion of mononuclear bone marrow-derived stem cells is associated with a lower plaque burden after four years.

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University of Medicine and Pharmacy Tirgu-Mures, Romania, Department of Internal Medicine, Clinic of Cardiology.



To assess the long-term effects of intracoronary stem cell (SC) infusion following acute myocardial infarction (AMI) on the local atherosclerotic process at the site of infusion after four years of follow-up.


We evaluated 18 post-AMI patients. Group 1 consisted of nine patients given an intracoronary injection of autologous mononuclear SC, and group 2 consisted of nine patients given a placebo injection. The plaque count, plaque burden (PB) and coronary calcium score (CCS) were assessed using multislice 64 CT angiography of the coronary tree four years after SC injection.


The total PB and CCS along the entire coronary segment distal to the site of infusion were significantly lower in the SC group (PB-702 mm(3) vs. 1.465 mm(3), p=0.0006; CCS-295 vs. 796, p< 0.0001).The mean PB per coronary artery was 112.12 mm(3)±16.82 mm(3) for the treated arteries vs. 189.56 mm(3)±20.98 mm(3) for the untreated arteries (p<0.0001), while the mean CCS was 53.12±16.4 vs. 106.43±10.86 (p<0.0001). In the SC group, there were significant differences in the mean PB (87.75 mm(3) vs. 112.12 mm(2), p= 0.005) and mean CCS (36.87 vs. 53.12, p=0.04) between the coronary segment infused with SC and the entire coronary artery.


Multislice CT angiography of atheromatous plaques in the coronary tree four years after SC infusion in post-AMI patients indicates a significantly lower atheromatous plaque burden, as demonstrated by a lower plaque volume and lower CCS at the site of stem cell infusion compared with other coronary territories.

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