Timing of cell therapy following heart attack does not influence left ventricular functional recovery

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Jay H Traverse, Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, USA, and colleagues have found that timing of cardiovascular cell delivery within the first week after a heart attack does not have any effect improving left ventricular (LV) function following reperfusion. The study was presented at a late breaking trials session titled “Cell-Based Therapies for Myocardial Regeneration” of the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions and published online in JAMA

“Cell therapy may eventually become a therapeutic option for patients following acute myocardial infarction, potentially preventing the transition to end-stage heart failure where cardiac transplantation is currently the only curative procedure available,” the authors wrote. “However, despite a growing number of trials, many fundamental questions such as optimal timing of bone marrow mononuclear cell (BMC) delivery remain unanswered.”


Between July 2008 and November 2011, 120 patients were enrolled in the TIME trial, which included patients with LV dysfunction following successful primary percutaneous coronary intervention of anterior ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Patients received intracoronary infusion of BMCs or placebo, administered at day three or day seven post-PCI. Patient average age was 57 years; 88% were male.


“To our knowledge, TIME is the first cardiovascular cell therapy trial that was specifically designed to determine whether the timing of BMC administration after primary PCI influences LV functional recovery. There was no overall effect of BMC treatment on this ongoing improvement at six months vs. placebo despite previous supportive clinical data.  Additionally, the day of cell delivery did not demonstrate an effect on the recovery of LV function or on LV volumes or infarct size,” the researchers concluded.

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