Stem cell shot reduces heart attack, stroke in heart failure patients

A study found a single injection of stem cells directly into an inflamed heart can reduce heart attack and stroke by 58 percent, CNN reported Feb. 27.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, included 565 heart failure patients ages 18 to 80 across 51 sites. Half of the patients received mesenchymal precursor cells injections, which have anti-inflammatory properties, directly to the heart through a catheter. 

The stem cell treatment reduced heart attack and strokes by 58 percent. Researchers found among patients with high inflammation, the reduced risk went up to 75 percent. The study is the largest clinical trial of cell therapy in patients with heart failure to date, according to the report.

"We followed these patients [for] three years — and what we found was that their hearts got stronger. We found a very significant reduction in heart attack and stroke, especially in the patient that we measured in their blood that they had more inflammation going on," lead author Emerson Perin, MD, PhD, medical director at Houston-based Texas Heart Institute, told CNN.

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