, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp 78-86
Date: 21 Oct 2005

Granulocyte colony–stimulating factor–induced blood stem cell mobilisation in patients with chronic heart failure

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Bone marrow–derived stem cells may contribute to the regeneration of non–haematopoietic organs. In order to test whether an increase in circulating stem cell numbers improves impaired myocardial function we treated 16 male patients with chronic heart failure due to dilated (DCM; n = 7) or ischaemic cardiomyopathy (ICM; n = 9) with the stem cell mobilising cytokine granulocyte colony–stimulating factor (G–CSF; four 10–day treatment periods interrupted by treatment–free intervals of equal length). Safety and efficacy analyses were performed at regular intervals.

Peak CD34+ cell counts remained constant from cycle to cycle. Cardiac side effects in ICM patients included occasional episodes of dyspnea or angina and one episode of fatal ventricular fibrillation. Nine (4 DCM, 5 ICM) of 12 patients receiving four full G–CSF cycles experienced an improvement by one New York Heart Association (NYHA) class and a statistically significant increase in six–minute walking distance. By contrast, none of 8 ICM historical controls had a change in NYHA class during a similar time period. Statistically significant changes in echocardiographic parameters were not recorded.

Sequential administration of G–CSF is feasible and possibly effective in improving physical performance in patients with chronic heart failure. Patients with ICM may be at risk of increased angina and arrhythmias.