Heart Failure Reviews

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 155–170

Cardiac repair—fact or fancy?


DOI: 10.1007/s10741-006-9486-8

Cite this article as:
Leontiadis, E., Manginas, A. & Cokkinos, D.V. Heart Fail Rev (2006) 11: 155. doi:10.1007/s10741-006-9486-8


Patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy have a poor prognosis despite all pharmacological, interventional and surgical treatment modalities currently applied. Heart transplantation remains the ideal treatment for this group of patients but the scarcity of donors hinders its widespread application.

The autologous transplantation of stem cells (SCs) for cardiac repair is emerging as a new therapy for patients with myocardial dysfunction early after an acute infarction or ischemic cardiomyopathy. The rationale of this novel method is the enhancement of the repair mechanisms achieved by tissue-specific and circulating stem/progenitor cells. SCs assist naturally occurring myocardial repair by contributing to increased myocardial perfusion and contractile performance especially in the setting of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), but also in patients with chronic ischemic heart failure and advanced, diffuse coronary artery disease. The exact mechanism of their action has not been fully elucidated. Few studies continue to suggest a formation of few new contractile tissue. The majority if investigators believe that these cells do not persist long in the myocardium but that they secrete vascular growth and other cardioprotective factors.


Bone marrow derived cells Cardiac regeneration Stem cells Myoblasts Cardiac repair Myocardial infarction Heart failure 

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chairman Cardiology Department Onassis Cardiac Surgery CenterUniversity of AthensGreece

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