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Heart attack treatment with stem cells ineffective

(Vienna, 26th March 2015) The treatment used in some European countries as part of clinical studies involving stem cells and administered following a heart attack has yielded no improvement in its current form in the pumping performance or regeneration of the heart following such an event. This is the key finding of an international meta-analysis carried out at the University Department of Internal Medicine II led by Marianne Pavone-Gyöngyösi (Clinical Department of Cardiology). The study has been published in the highly respected journal "Circulation Research".

The scientists recruited data from 1,900 cases in 25 previous studies from 16 European countries and the USA to investigate the effectiveness of the treatment, standardising it for the first time in a database developed back in 2007 at the MedUni Vienna in order to make it possible to compare the data. "Until now, the studies on effectiveness, of which there were around 40 worldwide, had returned equal numbers of negative and positive results. We are now able to say with great certainty that, the way mononuclear stem cells are used at the moment is not as effective as had been hoped," explains Pavone-Gyöngyösi. This form of treatment - in which stem cells are taken from the spinal cord and injected into the heart - has not yet been used by MedUni Vienna doctors from the Vienna General Hospital.

The international and multi-centre consortium that carried out this study also includes the renowned American CCTRN (Cardiovascular Therapy Research Network), a collaboration of researchers focusing exclusively on the research of stem cell therapy in heart disease.

Stem cell treatment for heart attacks remains promising, however, affirms the MedUni Vienna cardiologist. The scientists are now attempting to find ways in which the treatment with spinal cord stem cells can be used to achieve the desired effect in a modified form.


Service: Circulation Research
„Meta-Analysis of Cell-based Cardiac Studies (ACCRUE) in Patients with Acut Myocardial Infarction Based on Individual Patient Data.“ M. Gyöngyösi, W. Wojakowski, P. Lemarchand, K. Lunde, M. Tendera, J. Bartunek, E. Marban, B. Assmus, T. Henry, J. Traverse, L. Moye, D. Sürder, R. Corti, H. Huikuri, J. Miettinen, J. Wöhrle, S. Obradovic, J. Roncalli, K. Malliaras, E. Polushalov, A. Romanov, J. Kastrup, M. Bergmann, D. Atsma, A. Diederichsen, I. Edes, I. Benedek, T. Benedek, H. Pejkov, N. Nyolczas, N. Pavo, J. Bergler-Klein, I. Pavo, C. Sylven, S. Berti, E. Navarese, G. Maurer. Circ Res, Feb. 2015. DOI:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.116.304346.