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Bone marrow therapy helps heart patients: study

2009-05-20 4
   
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résuméLONDON Injecting bone marrow stem cells into the heart helped some patients with a chronic form of heart disease, Dutch researchers said on Tuesday. The infusions helped blood flow, reduced pain and helped patients exercise more, the researchers repo
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Bone marrow therapy helps heart patients: study


LONDON Injecting bone marrow stem cells into the heart helped some patients with a chronic form of heart disease, Dutch researchers said on Tuesday.

The infusions helped blood flow, reduced pain and helped patients exercise more, the researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Now trials are needed to see if the therapy helps patients live longer, they said.

Bone marrow stem cell therapy is being tested for a range of heart conditions, including for people with blocked arteries that reduce blood supply to the heart.

Heart disease -- the world's leading cause of death -- is caused by fatty deposits that harden and block arteries, high blood pressure which damages blood vessels, and other factors.

Jan van Ramshorst of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and colleagues looked at 50 people, with an average age of 64, who had chronic ischemia -- blocked arteries.

One group received about eight injections of bone marrow cells and the others got a placebo. After three months those who got the injections showed signs their hearts pumped better and had improved blood flow compared to the others.

They also had greater improvements in the ability to exercise and scored higher on quality-of-life measurements than the men and women who had the placebo, the researchers said.

(Reporting by Michael Kahn; editing by Maggie Fox and Richard Balmforth)

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