Cardiac stem cells in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy: Discovery, translation, and clinical investigation

John H. Loughran, Julius B. Elmore, Momina Waqar, Atul R. Chugh, Roberto Bolli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The increasing prevalence of heart failure, in the US and worldwide, poses a significant burden to patients, practitioners, and healthcare systems. Hence, there is a pressing need for alternative therapies to enhance the current treatment armamentarium. Accordingly, when considering heart failure of ischemic etiology, an intervention designed to regenerate the attending loss of myocardium could potentially result in improved cardiac function, functional status, and quality of life. Significant strides have been made by investigators in the study of stem cell therapy for cardiac repair; recently with cardiac-derived progenitor cells. These cells include cardiospheres, cardiosphere-derived cells, and c-kit positive cardiac stem cells. Herein, a review of both preclinical studies and phase I clinical trials of these cell types is presented. A detailed account of in vitro characterization, in vivo bioactivity, and safety and efficacy in humans is outlined. Thus far, encouraging results have been realized, although larger studies have yet to be undertaken.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-503
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent atherosclerosis reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • CAD
  • Cardiac stem cells
  • Chronic ischemic heart disease
  • Myogenesis
  • Stem cell therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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