Purpose: Adult stem cells are among the new methods of approaching the treatment of myocardial tissue damage. The purpose of this review is to clarify misconceptions about stem cell therapy efficacy in clinical trials and provide a thorough understanding of adult stem cells as a future treatment for patients with myocardial infarction. Methods: A comprehensive review of literature was performed analyzing and comparing 12 clinical trials involving the treatment of patients with acute and chronic myocardial infarction. Results: Stem cell treatments carry an excellent safety profile with the ease of one-time dosing, and have shown dramatic functional improvements while reducing the recurrence of myocardial infarction and enhancing quality of life. Important changes with adult stem cell treatments include 1) formation of new cardiomyocytes, 2) sufficient and sustained improvements in cardiac output, 3) increased myocardial contractility, 4) decreased infarct zone diameter, 5) increased left ventricular function, 6) increased exercise ability, and 7) increased coronary perfusion secondary to neovascularization. Conclusion: At this time, based on the current clinical evidence, adult stem cell therapy is in a position to be considered as an optional treatment for patients with acute or chronic myocardial infarction. Adult stem cell therapy is still in experimental stages of development and the continued clinical involvement will provide more evidence to the therapeutic effects of the treatment.




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