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Progress in mending ailing heart

Chicago, Nov. 17 (Reuters): Researchers today reported progress on ways to repair a damaged heart following an attack — one using skeletal muscle cells and the other bone marrow cells, both taken from the patient.

“We have been able to regenerate dead heart muscle or scar tissue in the area of a heart attack without increasing risk of death,” said Nabil Dib of the Arizona Heart Institute in Phoenix.

“Our findings will allow us to move forward with testing if the procedure can improve the contractility of the heart,” he added.

His study was released at the annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association. It was released along with one from the University of Leicester in the UK, which found that bone marrow cells injected directly into the heart strengthened heart muscle and significantly enhanced heart function.

“The benefit could be seen only six weeks after injection,” said Manuel Galinanes, who led the study. “Bone marrow not only can differentiate into heart cells but also smooth muscle cells, connective tissue cells and other types of cells to reconstitute the entire structure of a tissue.”

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