Stem cells help heal heart

Study finds reduction in scar tissue of heart attack patients

A medical study conducted by researchers from Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore has concluded stem cells grown from a heart-attack patient’s own cardiac tissue can help repair damage once thought to be permanent.

The study of 25 heart-attack patients, published in the medical journal Lancet, found 17 of them showed a 50 percent reduction in scar tissue following the stem-cell treatment, while the other eight patients who received standard care showed no improvement, according to SF Gate. A tissue sample about the size of a raisin was removed from the heart to cultivate the stem cells, which were reintroduced to the patient in a second surgical procedure. Although the study was mostly done to determine the safety of such surgeries, the researchers concluded a study focusing on broader applications is in order.

“If we can regenerate the whole heart, then the patient would be completely normal,” said Eduardo Marban, the study’s lead author.