The acute and long-term effects of intracoronary Stem cell Transplantation in 191 patients with chronic heARt failure: the STAR-heart study
Despite accumulated evidence that intracoronary bone marrow cell (BMC) therapy may be beneficial in acute myocardial infarction, there are only limited data available on the effectiveness of BMC's in chronic heart failure. The aim of this study was to quantitatively investigate ventricular haemodynamics, geometry, and contractility as well as the long-term clinical outcome of BMC treated patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) due to chronic ischaemic cardiomyopathy.
Methods and results
Patients with chronic heart failure (n = 391 LVEF ≤35%) due to ischaemic cardiomyopathy were enrolled in the present study. Of these, 191 patients (mean NYHA class 3.22) underwent intracoronary BMC therapy. The control group (mean NYHA class 3.06) consisted of 200 patients with comparable LVEF. Assessments of haemodynamics at rest and exercise, quantitative ventriculography, spiroergometry, 24 h Holter ECG, late potentials, and heart rate variability were analysed. Over 3 months to 5 years after intracoronary BMC therapy there was a significant improvement in haemodynamics (e.g. LVEF, cardiac index), exercise capacity, oxygen uptake, and LV contractility. Importantly, there was a significant decrease in long-term mortality in the BMC treated patients compared with the control group.
Intracoronary BMC therapy improves ventricular performance, quality of life and survival in patients with heart failure. These effects were present when BMC were administered in addition to standard therapeutic regimes. No side effects were observed.