CHICAGO, Ill. (April 1, 2008) A study in which interventional cardiologists injected muscle cells into scarred areas of the heart using a needle-tipped catheter has reported mixed results in patients with congestive heart failure. The Safety and Effects of Implanted (Autologous) Skeletal Myoblasts (MyoCell) using an Injection Catheter (SEISMIC) study showed some improvement in patients symptoms but no evidence that the heart was able to pump blood more effectively. In addition, heart size did not improve.
The SEISMIC study results are being reported today in a Late-Breaking Clinical Trials session at the SCAI Annual Scientific Sessions in Partnership with ACC i2 Summit (SCAI-ACCi2) in Chicago. SCAI-ACCi2 is a scientific meeting for practicing cardiovascular interventionalists sponsored by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) in partnership with the American College of Cardiology (ACC).
The study is testing the safety and effectiveness of a treatment that, it is hoped, will replace inactive, scarred areas of the heart with the patients own skeletal muscle cells, or myoblasts, creating functioning tissue that contributes to the hearts ability to contract and pump blood.
For the study, Patrick W. Serruys, MD, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and his colleagues recruited 47 patients with heart failure, randomly assigning them to cell injection or to the best available medical therapy. Patients in the cell-therapy group underwent a biopsy of skeletal muscle from the front of the thigh. The muscle tissue grew in culture until there were hundreds of millions of muscle cells. Then, after threading a special needle-tipped catheter into the heart, researchers repeatedly injected millions of muscle cells at approximately 1-cm intervals throughout the area of scarring.
At the beginning of the study, the average left ventricular ejection fractionor the portion of blood the hea
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