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One of the most promising new therapeutic techniques for the augmentation and regeneration of the myocardium is cellular cardiomyoplasty. Reports from animal and clinical investigations indicate that the transplant of different cell types, such as autologous skeletal myoblasts and adult stem cells, into injured myocardium results in the generation of new cardiac myocytes and improvement in myocardial performance. Although there is no consensus with regard to the best cell type to transplant or the extent of myocardial renewal and regeneration, the technique of cardiac cellular myoplasty may become one of the most important advancements in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction and heart failure.
The American Heart Association identified cell transplantation (also referred to as cellular cardiomyoplasty [CCM]) as one of the top 10 research advancements of 2002. 1 Cellular cardiomyoplasty involves the transplantation of cells that reside in one tissue to that of another tissue type (eg, the transplant of skeletal muscle myoblast cells into the myocardium). 2 The goal of CCM therapy is to replace damaged, hypocontractile and necrotic cardiac myocytes with functioning myocytes (myogenesis) or to enhance angiogenesis and vascularization in ischemic myocardium. This type of cell transplantation or cell-based therapy is also under investigation in the setting of neurodegenerative diseases, liver diseases, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 3 The aim of this article is to review the concept of CCM for myogenesis, cell types used in CCM, and cell transplant techniques. Also reviewed are techniques and data from selected recently published CCM reports.
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