Navigation Links
Ultrasound Waves, Bone Marrow Cells Show Promise in Heart Failure Patients
Date:4/16/2013

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- People with chronic heart failure might benefit from a combination of "shock waves" to the heart and an infusion of their own bone marrow cells, an early study suggests.

The therapy is still experimental, and experts said much more work is needed. But they also said the results, reported in the April 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, are promising.

The study, which included about 100 patients, added a new twist to a therapy heart disease researchers have been trying for about a decade -- using immature cells from patients' own bone marrow to try to aid damaged heart muscle.

There has been some success in helping recent heart attack sufferers. Overall, research suggests the cell therapy can cut the risk of a repeat heart attack, and even prolong people's lives.

But it has not worked as well for chronic heart failure -- where the heart's pumping ability declines over time, causing fatigue, breathlessness and fluid build-up in the legs. In the United States, close to 6 million adults have heart failure, often developing it after a heart attack first damages the heart muscle.

One theory on the limited results for heart failure is that patients' bone marrow cells are not retained in the heart for a long enough time.

So in the new study, German researchers first "pre-treated" patients with so-called shock wave therapy, which applies high-dose ultrasound to the chest. For patients, the experience is similar to having a diagnostic ultrasound of the heart, said senior researcher Dr. Andreas Zeiher, of Goethe University in Frankfurt.

One day after the shock wave therapy, patients' hearts were infused with a dose of their own bone marrow cells.

The idea, Zeiher explained, is that the shock waves might spur the heart to churn out chemicals that attract more bone marrow cells to the damaged portion of heart muscle.

After four months, his team found, there was a 3 percent increase in the patients' left ventricular ejection fraction -- the percentage of blood pushed out of the heart with each contraction.

That's a "decent" improvement, said Dr. Eduardo Marban, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles. And it's possible it could translate into long-term benefits -- like a lower risk of a repeat heart attack or longer life, according to Marban.

But, he said, larger studies are needed to prove that.

"This is a feasibility and efficacy study," Marban explained. He added that neither shock waves nor bone marrow cells are approved treatments for heart failure. "You're not going to be able to go to your doctor and ask for this."

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiovascular medicine and science at the University of California, Los Angeles, agreed that caution is in order.

"Whether these findings can be reproduced, and whether there is any clinical benefit that will result from this approach, will require subsequent, well-designed clinical trials," said Fonarow.

The findings are based on 103 patients who'd developed chronic heart failure after a heart attack. Zeiher's team randomly assigned 81 patients to receive shock wave therapy; afterward, 42 of them received an infusion of bone marrow cells, while 39 were given a cell-free "placebo" infusion.

The remaining 21 patients received placebo shock wave therapy. (A cushion was placed over the chest so the ultrasound waves could not reach the heart.) They did, however, get a real infusion of bone marrow cells.

Four months later, patients who'd received the combination therapy were faring best: On average, the percentage of blood being pushed out of the heart's main pumping chamber ticked up 3 percent.

That's "modest," the researchers acknowledged, but it compared with no significant change in the other patients.

The combination-therapy group also had fewer heart-related "events," such as heart rhythm problems, hospitalization for heart failure, repeat heart attacks or strokes. There were 32 such complications among the 42 patients, versus 18 among the 21 patients who received only bone marrow cells.

Now, one of the big questions is whether the improved heart function fades with time, Zeiher said. Repeat treatments may be necessary.

"In principle," Zeiher said, "that can be very easily performed, because the procedure itself is rather simple and -- most importantly -- safe."

Marban agreed that, based on years of research experience, bone marrow cell therapy does seem to be safe.

It's not clear, though, exactly how it works. Early on, some researchers suggested that transplanted bone marrow cells actually generate new heart muscle. But studies since then have failed to show that's true.

The "best guess," Marban said, is that the bone marrow cells secrete certain growth factors that improve the heart's ability to contract.

Right now, the standard treatments for heart failure include medications that lighten the heart's workload and moderate exercise. But researchers are looking for new ways to improve the heart's pumping ability, or even regenerate the damaged muscle.

Marban and his colleagues are studying the use of heart stem cells -- primitive cells within the heart that are, in theory, capable of generating new heart muscle.

The current study was funded by Goethe University. Zeiher and a co-researcher are founders of a company, t2cure, focused on regenerative therapies for heart disease.

More information

Learn more about heart failure from the Heart Failure Society of America.

SOURCES: Andreas Zeiher, M.D., professor, medicine, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany; Eduardo Marban, M.D., Ph.D., director, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Los Angeles; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiovascular medicine and science, University of California, Los Angeles; April 17, 2013, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Ultrasound Allows Early Detection of Fluid in Dialysis Patients Lungs
2. AIUM 2013 Annual Convention provides an in-depth look into ultrasound first
3. More doctors use ultrasound to diagnose, manage rheumatic diseases
4. Progress in ultrasound-guided surgery may improve breast cancer treatment
5. FDA OKs First Ultrasound Imaging System for Dense Breasts
6. AMA adopts diagnostic ultrasound utilization and education resolution
7. AIUM and AUA guideline development leads to practice accreditation for urologic ultrasound
8. Huge Rise in CT, MRI, Ultrasound Scan Use: Study
9. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound monitors aortic aneurysm treatment
10. Automated breast ultrasound dramatically reduces physician interpretation time
11. Breast cancer patients with positive ultrasound guided axillary node biopsy need dissection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Ultrasound Waves, Bone Marrow Cells Show Promise in Heart Failure Patients
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... , ... “Life Under Blankets”: an entrancing story about one woman's travels ... is the creation of published author, Kimberly Mitchell, who earned her bachelor’s degree in ... to pursue a master’s degree in education in the field of curriculum and instruction. ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... ... Valentine’s Day is a time when many people celebrate romance and love by giving cards, ... for the ideal present, Atlanta-based Perimeter Plastic Surgery is offering a Valentine’s Day ... $200 and get $50 free. , “A lot of people just buy the more ...
(Date:1/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 22, 2017 , ... Zifam Pinnacle, ... across the world, recently met with big-name retail buyers at the January ECRM Trade ... of efficacy and uses the utmost safety standards in all of its creations to ...
(Date:1/22/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Medical lab testing through hospitals and other traditional ... test will take days to arrive to the end customer, having to travel through ... their lab tests, bypassing the cost and delay of traditional means. Now all employees ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... Boca Raton, FL (PRWEB) , ... January 21, 2017 , ... ... from Germany, announced it is bringing its product to the United States as part ... perfected over the last 25 years, Alcovit aims to reduce the productions of nasty ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/21/2017)... Jan. 20, 2017  Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, a leading ... or the "Company") (NASDAQ: KMPH ) of the ... certain officers and directors and underwriters of the Company,s April ... role of lead plaintiff. The lawsuit has been ... for Johnson County on behalf of ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , Jan. 20, 2017  Ethicon Endo-Surgery, ... Megadyne Medical Products, Inc., a privately held ... markets electrosurgical tools used in operating rooms ... of Ethicon,s* advanced energy devices with Megadyne,s ... major step forward in Ethicon,s goal to ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... Jan. 20, 2017  Palladian Health, a leading ... the launch of an opioid management program which ... opioids and helps stem the growing tide of ... to treat chronic non-cancer pain (back pain, neck ... and lack of evidence regarding long-term effectiveness. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: