Sunday, August 01, 2004

Have A Heart

Check out this information from the Wikipedia about stem cells and heart patients -- pretty incredible. (My link and my emphasis added below.)
Working with critically ill heart patients, researchers in Vienna have successfully used Mesenchymal stem cells to regenerate healthy new heart tissue. The stem cells were harvested from the patient's own bone marrow and injected into the ventricle. The heart is stopped for approximately two minutes to allow the stem cells to attach to the existing heart tissue. The patient is only under local anesthesia so that the surgeons can monitor how the lack of cerebral oxygen is affecting the patient. The heart is then restarted and incisions closed. The procedure is minimally invasive, as far as heart surgeories are concerned.

All of the patients that received the new treatment experienced repaired scar tissue and most had nearly complete return of proper heart function. As stated previously in the article, autologous stem cell implants such as these could alleviate legal and moral issues revolving around stem cell therapies.