Clinical & Experimental Cardiology

Clinical & Experimental Cardiology
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9880

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A Review of the Basis of Autologous Stem Cell Therapy for Coronary Artery Disease

Jason M. Duran and Jon C. George

Until recently, the myocardium has been viewed as a terminally differentiated organ without potential for regeneration. Although dramatic advances have been made in the treatment of coronary artery disease resulting in greatly improved morbidity and mortality in these patients, further progress in treatment is limited by the inability to repair concomitantly damaged cardiac tissue. This limitation has led to increasing use of stem cell (SC) therapies with the assumption that replacement or repair of damaged vascular and cardiac tissue could lead to improvement in myocardial function.
Although multiple experimental animal models and clinical trials of cell-based cardiac therapy have delivered promising results, the mechanisms of their effect are unclear. SC, depending on their lineage, possess the ability to differentiate into cells of various tissues. Although the differentiation of SC into functional cardiomyocytes has been difficult to demonstrate and fraught with controversy, differentiation into functioning endothelium with improved blood flow has been better illustrated and accepted. Studies in animal models have demonstrated improvement in myocardial function after targeted repair of myocardium via implantation of progenitor cells by various delivery methods, whether derived from peripheral blood, bone marrow (BM), umbilical cord blood, or embryonic sources.
Here in is a review of the use of autologous SC therapy for coronary artery disease.