A potential revolution in the treatment of tiniest heart patients
Filed under: Real Hope, adult stem cell awareness — benotafraid @ 1:49 pm
Having a child with a single ventricle heart, I’m always on the look-out for exciting advances in the field. This recent report from Pediatric Cardiology proposes the use of engineered autologous (made from one’s own cells) tissue as an alternative to heart transplantation and radical reconstructive surgeries for heart kids. This has been on the horizon for a long time, but now it’s appearing in field standard journals . . . “the future” is getting closer and closer every day.
Cardiac Tissue Engineering: Implications for Pediatric Heart Surgery
Received: 4 February 2009 Accepted: 26 February 2009 Published online: 25 March 2009
Abstract: Children with severe congenital malformations, such as single-ventricle anomalies, have a daunting prognosis. Heart transplantation would be a therapeutic option but is restricted due to a lack of suitable donor organs and, even in case of successful heart transplantation, lifelong immune suppression would frequently be associated with a number of serious side effects. As an alternative to heart transplantation and classical cardiac reconstructive surgery, tissue-engineered myocardium might become available to augment hypomorphic hearts and/or provide new muscle material for complex myocardial reconstruction. These potential applications of tissue engineered myocardium will, however, impose major challenges to cardiac tissue engineers as well as heart surgeons. This review will provide an overview of available cardiac tissue-engineering technologies, discuss limitations, and speculate on a potential application of tissue-engineered heart muscle in pediatric heart surgery.
And of course, adult stem cells and autologous tissues have turned out to be impressively effective for adult hearts, too: Improved exercise tolerance for angina patients, ASC heart failure trials, plus more – use our blog search button for “heart” and “cardiac”.