American College of Cardiology

American College of Cardiology

April 14, 2014
2 min read

Mesenchymal stromal stem cell injection improved heart function in patients with HF

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

WASHINGTON — Intramyocardial injection of mesenchymal stromal stem cells derived from bone marrow improved end-systolic volume, quality of life and other outcomes in patients with severe ischemic heart disease and HF, according to findings from the phase 2 MSC-HF trial.

Researchers for the trial randomly assigned 59 patients with NYHA class II or III HF to receive intramyocardial injection of mesenchymal stromal cells (n=39) or placebo (n=20). The patients’ mean age was 65 years and mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 28.1%. The researchers said these patients with severe disease had no other available options for treatment.

Stem cells were extracted and isolated from a small amount of bone marrow collected from the patients, and were induced to self-replicate. Autotransplantation into the myocardium was performed via a catheter with a retractable needle inserted into an artery in the groin.

The primary endpoint of the study was end-systolic volume.

At 6 months after the procedure, patients in the stem-cell group had significantly reduced end-systolic volume compared with patients in the placebo group (–8.2 mL decrease vs. 6 mL increase; P=.001). The researchers also reported significant improvements in EF (5.5% increase vs. –1.4% decrease), end-systolic myocardial mass (10.1 g increase vs. –2.1 g decrease) and stroke volume (17.4 mL increase vs. –3.1 mL decrease; P<.0001 for all).

Among 17 evaluable patients, scar tissue mass was significantly reduced in the stem-cell group (–4.4 g; P=.017), but not in the placebo group (–0.5 g; P=.755). However, the difference between the groups was not statistically significant, the researchers said.

Both the stem cell and placebo groups also experienced improvements in NYHA Class, 6-minute walk test distance and the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire, but no significant difference was observed between the groups.

Anders Brunn Mathiasen, MD

Anders Brunn Mathiasen

“In the MSC-HF trial, we demonstrated that stem cells can regenerated failing hearts," Anders Brunn Mathiasen, MD, of Rigshospitalet University Hospital in Copenhagen, said at a press conference. “Stem-cell treatment in patients with severe HF is safe and, compared to placebo, the treatment improved heart pump function and increased heart muscle mass. [Also] there was a reduction in scar tissue, and there were fewer symptoms and better quality of life in both groups of patients." – by Adam Taliercio

For more information:

Mathiasen AB. Abstract #405-16. Presented at: American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions; March 29-31, 2014; Washington, D.C.

Disclosure: Mathiasen reports no relevant financial disclosures.