February 13th, 2012
08:56 PM ET

Patient's own stem cells help heal heart

A patient's own heart cells can be used to regrow new heart tissue and help undo damage caused by a heart attack, according to early research published on Monday.

Scientists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore were able to treat 17 heart attack patients with cells grown from their own heart tissue. Not only did this show that the procedure was safe, it also showed that the cells can help reduce scarring and even cause new heart muscle to grow.

When a person suffers a heart attack, he or she is often left with huge areas of scarring in the heart. Scarred heart muscle doesn't pump blood as well as it used to, putting stress on other parts of the heart to make up for the deficit. The damaged area also doesn't conduct electric current as well, leading to an abnormal heart rhythm, which can cause more problems. Heart attack patients often go on to develop heart failure.

"This is the first instance of therapeutic regeneration," says Dr. Eduardo Marbán, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

He says while nature abounds with examples of spontaneous regeneration of limbs or tissues - like a salamander's new tail or a human liver regrowing to full size if partially damaged - doctors have not been able to help patients regrow heart tissue. This could change in the future if larger clinical trials and longer patient outcomes confirm the results of this early research published Monday in the journal The Lancet.

Marbán and his colleagues first presented this research at an American Heart Association conference in November.

To qualify for this clinical trial, patients had to have suffered a recent heart attack and "had to have a significant amount of damage to begin with and weren't squeezing [blood into the body] as well as they should have," says Dr. Peter Johnston, one of the study authors who injected the new heart cells into patients treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

A total of 25 patients participated in the clinical trial, which was designed to determine if it was safe to have cells grown from one's own heart tissue injected back into the heart.  Seventeen patients received the stem cell transplants, while the other eight patients were given conventional post-heart attack therapy.

In an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia, doctors funneled a catheter into the patient's heart and removed peppercorn-sized bits of tissue from the part of the patient's heart that was unaffected by the heart attack. Using a procedure invented by Marbán, heart stem cells were isolated from the tissue and then millions of new cells were grown in a petri dish.

About four to six weeks after having suffered the heart attack, the patients had either 12 million or 25 million heart-derived cells injected back into the their hearts.

Marbán says when the first patient data came in, he and his colleagues were relieved to see the procedure was safe. After 12 months, researchers report only one patient appeared to have a serious side effect that may have been connected to the experimental cells.

Six months after the first patient was injected with his cells grown from his own heart tissue, Marbán says there was dramatic shrinking of scar tissue and new tissue had grown. "That was unprecedented" he says. "No one had demonstrated that before."

All patients were followed for six months and researchers have 12-month data for 21 patients. In patients who received the cell transplant, Marbán says about half of their scar tissue dissolved and the reduction in scar size appears to get bigger after the first six months. He says that why this is happening is still unclear.

Marbán says the amount of new heart tissue that grew was not subtle. [On average] "22 grams (about .78 ounces) of new heart tissue grew," which he says is quite remarkable considering this had never been done before and the average weight of the part of the heart that is responsible for pumping the blood through the body is about 150 grams (about 5.3 ounces).

Patients in the control group, those who didn't get a cell transplant, did not regenerate any tissue and the amount of scar tissue they had remained the same.

Sonia Skarlatos, Ph.D and deputy director of the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says this early research is very exciting and a move in the right direction. She cautions that this procedure has to be tested on many more patients and they have to be observed for longer periods than in the current study, but she says these results are all very positive. She is hopeful further studies will confirm these early results.

"By preventing the consequences of a heart attack you may be able to prevent further down the heart failure that happens in [many of these] patients." Skarlatos says.

She was not involved in the research but the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute did help fund it.

Skarlatos also says it's still not clear exactly what is making the heart regenerate and scar tissue disappear. Is it the cells themselves or proteins and other factors produced by these newly introduced cells that help fix the heart? Further research will hopefully also help answer those questions, she says. The study authors say based on these results, further research is warranted.

Marbán, who began his research at Johns Hopkins, says "we did see a glimmer [of regeneration] in animal testing," but the results in humans were much better. "That doesn't usually happen this way in research."

soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. pocket notebook wallet

    I was able to find good info from your articles.

    My webpage pocket notebook wallet

    March 9, 2021 at 03:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. how much is sildenafil from canada

    sildenafil 100g https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 100mg free shipping

    March 14, 2021 at 10:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. are erectile dysfunction not curable

    erectile remedies https://erectiledysfunctionpillscvs.com/ erectile dysfunction guide

    March 14, 2021 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. alprostadil drug guide nursing implication

    alprostadil for sale online https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil suppository

    March 15, 2021 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. dapoxetine

    buy avanafil canada priligy uk

    March 15, 2021 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. avana

    avanafil 50mg avana india

    March 15, 2021 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. cyclomune

    buy cyclomune uk buy cyclosporine online

    March 16, 2021 at 00:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. tadalafil 40 mg from india

    tadalafil daily use https://elitadalafill.com/ 40 mg tadalafil

    March 18, 2021 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. vách vệ sinh

    I read this paragraph fully concerning the difference of latest and previous technologies, it's amazing article.

    March 18, 2021 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. vardenafil tablets 20 mg best price

    generic levitra vardenafil https://vegavardenafil.com/ what is vardenafil used for

    March 19, 2021 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. erectile dysfunction causes

    low cost erectile treatment https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile dysfunction reviews

    March 19, 2021 at 10:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. canadian weight loss pills

    canadian diet pills https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian diet pills

    March 19, 2021 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. getting viagra from canada with no prescription

    buy viagra from canada? https://canadaviagrastore.com/ viagra without a doctor prescription in canada

    March 19, 2021 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. canadian generic cialis 20mg

    counterfeit canadian drugs cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ do you need prescription for canadian perscribition of cialis in usa

    March 20, 2021 at 06:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. generic tadalafil

    tadalafil 40 mg from india https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil 60 mg for sale

    March 20, 2021 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. erectile meds

    erectile functioning https://erectiledysfunctionpillscvs.com/ youth erectile dysfunction

    March 20, 2021 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. luckyland slots casino

    house of fun free casino games https://casinoxsbonus.com/ best time to go to casino

    March 21, 2021 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. xtra rewards casino slot machines

    green wheel casino game https://casinoxsbest.com/ casino moons guess the game

    March 21, 2021 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. no deposit usa casino bonuses

    planet 7 casino free money codes https://casinoxsplay.com/ bovada free casino games

    March 21, 2021 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. double down casino bingo us

    are there slot machines at indian crossing casino waupaca https://casinoxsonline.com/ 5dimes casino bonus codes

    March 21, 2021 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. station casino cash ball bingo

    gta v how much money do you make from the casino missions https://casinoxsgames.com/ play win casino cabo san lucas

    March 21, 2021 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. free 3 card poker casino

    jackpot casino in idaho https://casinoxsonline.com/ free no deposit casino bonus spins in the united states

    March 22, 2021 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. free play casino

    w casino free slots https://casinoxsgames.com/ doubledown casino on line slots

    March 24, 2021 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. all slots casino free games

    caesars casino free slots https://casinoxsbonus.com/ online casino bonus codes no deposit required

    March 26, 2021 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. alhambra casino in aruba gambling commission

    online casino no deposit bonus codes https://casinoxsbonus.com/ best way to withdraw online casino einninngs

    April 2, 2021 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. new years eve at treasure island casino in mn. 12/31/16

    casino free slot https://casinoxsbest.com/ captainjack casino new no deposit codes

    April 2, 2021 at 09:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. new casino in monticello

    casino game-crossword https://casinoxsplay.com/ caesars casino free slot games

    April 2, 2021 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. little river casino slot winners

    jumba bet casino no deposit free chip https://casinoxsonline.com/ siba casino games

    April 2, 2021 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. chip in casino island resort

    doubleu casino free chips https://casinoxsgames.com/ offline casino slots

    April 2, 2021 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. download 918kiss 2

    Hi there to all, the contents existing at this website are really amazing for
    people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

    Also visit my website: download 918kiss 2

    April 8, 2021 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. https://topphimhot.net

    Best view i have ever seen !


    April 18, 2021 at 06:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. viagra for sale uk

    erectile problems home remedies https://viagrawithdapoxetine.com/# buy viagra online

    April 27, 2021 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. ivermectin dose

    ivermectin australia ivermectin where to buy

    April 27, 2021 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. hcq

    anti-malaria drug chloroquine https://aralenchloroquinex.com/# premature babies wikipedia

    May 2, 2021 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Margart Cord

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs


    May 11, 2021 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Guillermo Tahon

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    May 12, 2021 at 05:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. how does accutane work

    isotretinoin side effects https://accutaneisotretinoine.com/# accutane ipledge

    May 14, 2021 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. modafinil online

    modalert vs modvigil modalert

    May 16, 2021 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. hydroxychloroquineHyday

    is hydroxychloroquine safe https://chloroquinesbtc.com/ quinoline sulfate

    May 25, 2021 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Tembepteriope

    sildenafil 20 mg not working sildenafil contraindications what is sildenafil sildenafil pills https://hydroaralen.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. playboy2 online

    These are truly wonderful ideas in about blogging.
    You have touched some good points here. Any way keep up wrinting.

    Here is my website: playboy2 online

    June 1, 2021 at 23:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. appomannoni

    erectile stimulant kayamy erectile on demand reviews
    erectile coffee slilicy erectile strength
    erectile therapy pump sicAdofs does erectile dysfunction pills work

    June 2, 2021 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. appomannoni

    best ways to help erectile dysfunction kayamy erectile vacuum pump for sale
    erectile tissue problems slilicy erectile male enhancement
    erectile pills without a doctor prescription sicAdofs erectile dysfunction pump

    June 2, 2021 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. appomannoni

    male erectile complex kayamy what erectile dysfunction solution works best
    best erectile dysfunction pumps slilicy erectile reverser
    acupuncture for erectile sicAdofs erectile sonic

    June 3, 2021 at 01:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. appomannoni

    erectile discussion kayamy is erectile dysfunction dangerous
    natural erectile supplements slilicy erectile dysfunction in men
    are erectile disorder coverage under aca sicAdofs top erectile dysfunction pills

    June 3, 2021 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. playboy2 download

    If some one wants expert view on the topic of running a blog afterward i propose him/her to visit this
    blog, Keep up the nice job.

    Here is my blog: playboy2 download

    June 3, 2021 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. appomannoni

    best erectile pills kayamy antidepressant without erectile dysfunction
    erectile vacuum pump video slilicy erectile pillole
    erectile dysfunction exercises sicAdofs best erectile dysfunction drug

    June 3, 2021 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. appomannoni

    erectile help kayamy erectile enhancement
    erectile cure slilicy cheapest erectile disfunction drug
    erectile mastery exercises sicAdofs erectile implants side effects

    June 4, 2021 at 02:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. kiosk playboy2

    Howdy would you mind sharing which blog platform you're using?
    I'm going to start my own blog in the near future but I'm having a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something completely unique.

    P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

    Have a look at my site ... kiosk playboy2

    June 4, 2021 at 04:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. appomannoni

    male erectile complex kayamy erectile brokenness
    erectile implants video slilicy is erectile dysfunction a disability
    best erectile dysfunction pills sicAdofs which erectile dysfunction foods work fast

    June 4, 2021 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply to modafinil online


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.