, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 50-58
Date: 04 Feb 2009

Comparison of adult versus embryonic stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease: Insights from molecular imaging studies

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In the previous decade, cardiac cell replacement therapy has emphasized adult stem cells such as skeletal myoblasts, bone marrow mononuclear cells, and endothelial progenitor cells. Functional restoration of systolic function has been documented in most of these cases, but beneficial results have rarely persisted for significant lengths of time due to failure of cells to survive and the as yet controversial role of transdifferentiation into endogenous tissue. Future efforts at cell replacement therapy will likely focus upon cellular derivatives of embryonic stem (ES) cells, which can be induced to form any cell type of the body. Use of ES cells, however, presents several novel considerations such as teratoma formation and immune rejection. This review summarizes the current progress made in the field of cardiac cell replacement therapy and the role noninvasive imaging can play in realizing the therapeutic potential of stem cells.