Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation vol:13 issue:1 pages:36-43
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of morbidity/mortality in the world. Despite significant progress in cardiovascular medicine, mortality rates have remained steady during the past decade. Therefore, investigators are evaluating novel methods to repair/regenerate the damaged heart. RECENT FINDINGS: Within the past decade, stem cell therapy strategies have been evaluated for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Among all postnatal stem cell compartments, bone marrow has been most extensively studied. Recent studies using bone marrow stem cells have suggested that this approach may have beneficial effects on cardiac function, probably by enhancing new cell formation from endogenous cardiac and endothelial stem/progenitor cells. SUMMARY: The present review critically assesses the possible beneficial effects of bone-marrow-derived cell therapy in cardiac ischemia, demonstrating benefits through as yet incompletely understood mechanisms.