Stem Cell Therapy for Pediatric Dilated Cardiomyopathy
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- Selem, S.M., Kaushal, S. & Hare, J.M. Curr Cardiol Rep (2013) 15: 369. doi:10.1007/s11886-013-0369-z
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Dilated cardiomyopathy is a serious and life-threatening disorder in children. It is the most common form of pediatric cardiomyopathy. Therapy for this condition has varied little over the last several decades and mortality continues to be high. Currently, children with dilated cardiomyopathy are treated with pharmacological agents and mechanical support, but most require heart transplantation and survival rates are not optimal. The lack of common treatment guidelines and inadequate survival rates after transplantation necessitates more therapeutic clinical trials. Stem cell and cell-based therapies offer an innovative approach to restore cardiac structure and function towards normal, possibly reducing the need for aggressive therapies and cardiac transplantation. Mesenchymal stem cells and cardiac stem cells may be the most promising cell types for treating children with dilated cardiomyopathy. The medical community must begin a systematic investigation of the benefits of current and novel treatments such as stem cell therapies for treating pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.