Animal studies have suggested dramatic improvement in cardiac function after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) through regeneration of the myocardium or neovascularization by transfer of cells derived from bone marrow (BMC) generated clinical studies. Recently published small sized studies have yielded mixed results, leaving the question unanswered.


We analyzed data from these studies in a meta-analysis to investigate if intracoronary stem cell therapy was effective in improving cardiac function.


A total of 7 randomized controlled trials meeting the inclusion criteria were identified by a systematic literature search. Primary endpoint was change in global left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) baseline to follow-up (ranging between 3 to 6 months). The meta-analysis consisted of 516 patients (BMC group, 256; control group, 260). A 2-sided α error of less than .05 was considered to be statistically significant (P<.05).


There were no significant differences in patient characteristics between the BMC treatment and control groups at baseline. Compared to the control group, patients in the BMC treatment group had significantly greater increase in LVEF from baseline to follow-up (mean difference: 6.108%; SE: 1.753%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.672%− 9.543%; P<.001).


The present meta-analysis suggests that intracoronary bone marrow stem cell infusion may be effective in improving left ventricular systolic function in patients after acute myocardial infarction. Copyright © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.