, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 966-973
Date: 29 Jul 2011

Noninvasive stem cell tracking

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Cardiac stem cell therapy has received an enormous amount of attention in recent years and it has been considered a promising approach for repair of damaged myocardium.1-4 Triggered by this enthusiasm, the application of bone marrow derived cells has rapidly moved from the experimental setting to clinical trials, where functional benefits have been demonstrated.5,6 Additionally, advanced cell types such as cardiac-derived stem cells, embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent cells are being actively investigated.1,7-10

But despite early success, stem cell therapy is still in its infancy. Several clinical studies, despite comparable setups, have reported contradictory results.5,11 The clinical gain in myocardial function, when identified, has been modest with reported increases of left ventricular ejection fraction vs placebo usually being below 5%.5,11-13 Also, experimental studies have sometimes been difficult to reproduce, making translation into patients problematic.14-16 Such obse