Johannesburg: Stem cells could repair damage in people with advanced heart disease, a new study has claimed.According to researchers at a major US cardiology conference, patients with advanced heart disease who received an experimental stem cell therapy showed slightly improved heart function. The clinical trial involved 92 patients, with an average age of 63, who were picked at random to get either a placebo or a series of injections of their own stem cells, taken from their bone marrow, into damaged areas of their hearts.The patients all had chronic heart disease, along with either heart failure or angina, and their left ventricles were pumping at less than 45 percent of capacity.All the participants in the study were ineligible for revascularisation surgery, such as coronary bypass to restore blood flow, because their heart disease was so advanced.Those who received the stem cell therapy saw a small but significant boost in the heart’s ability to pump blood, measuring the increase from the heart’s main pumping chamber at 2.7 percent more than placebo patients.
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