Myocardial Homing and Coronary Endothelial Function After Autologous Blood CD34+ Progenitor Cells Intracoronary Injection in the Chronic Phase of Myocardial Infarction

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Transcoronary transplantation of progenitor cells has been proposed as a novel therapy for ischemic heart failure. The primary aims were to assess the feasibility of obtaining CD34+ cells from blood without mobilization in chronic conditions and to compare homing with results reported in acute conditions. We also evaluated the effect of CD34+ on endothelial function. In 7 patients with a history of an anterior myocardial infarction (20 ± 2 months), a large amount of CD34+ (18.2 ± 3.0 × 106) were obtained and an intracoronary infusion into the left anterior descending artery via an over-the-wire balloon catheter was performed. Myocardial homing involved 3.2% ± 0.6% of injected cells. Endothelial function studied with increasing doses of bradykinin was not significantly modified after 3 months. In the treated group, compared with 5 nonrandomized control patients with a similar clinical history, the only echocardiographic significant change (2-way analysis of variance) was a decrease in end-systolic volume (P < 0.03). In conclusion, large amounts of CD34+ cells can be obtained from blood, without mobilization, in the chronic phase of myocardial infarction. As reported in the acute situation 1 hour after treatment, intracoronary infusion of CD34+ cells results in myocardial homing of a few percents of the cells. In this small group of patients, no effect of this therapy is detected on the endothelial function and only marginal changes are observed on echocardiographic parameters.

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