Congestive heart failure (CHF) is responsible for many one million hospitalizations in the U.S. and is considered the main cause or contributor to 53,000 deaths each year in the United States. CHF is associated with cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy (deterioration in heart muscles) is commonly caused by coronary vessel disease but can also be due to infection and other causes. In this condition, the heart loses its ability to pump blood efficiently.
Cell therapy potentially offers an important solution for CHF and cardiomyopathy. During cardiac ischemia, millions of myocytes are lost resulting in loss of contractile function. One of the great goals of regenerative medicine is to engineer methods of replacing these cells. Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells and now recently adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells appear to be playing an important role in this regeneration. There is also a growing body of data supporting the use of engineered biologics such as selected cell populations, organic scaffolds, and modified (differentiated or de-differentiated) stem cells to regenerate damaged myocardium. It is unknown whether the cost of engineered biologics over harvested stem cells is justified until long term studies are available. The results of clinical trials of the use of adult mesenchymal stem cells to treat cardiac disease have demonstrated safety and most have shown positive clinical results. Mesenchymal stem cells have been deployed intravenously, injected the myocardium, and placed in the coronary arteries and it is still unclear if one delivery method is clearly superior to another. It is also unclear which source of mesenchymal cells is optimal for cardiac regeneration but adipose derived cells appear to be highly effective in this area.
Research has been ongoing around the world that exploits the anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties of adult stem cells to mitigate heart failure. We are investigating the effects of SVF (rich in mesenchymal stem cells and growth factors) on CHF. We use a protocol designed by our interventional cardiologist that includes intravenous deployment. The CSCTC deployment protocol is performed under local anesthesia and is all done as an outpatient at the time of SVF harvesting and procurement. The entire cellular surgical procedure takes approximately 3 hours.