1. In this randomized controlled trial, the injection of mesenchymal precursor cells into the myocardium of patients undergoing a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implant did not increase successful temporary weaning from device support.
2. Left ventricular ejection fractions (LVEFs) and quality of life scores were similar between groups.
Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)
Study Rundown: Implantation of Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs) is a key surgical therapy for advanced heart failure patients unresponsive to medical therapy. Injection of mesenchymal precursor cells (MPCs) is a promising adjuvant therapy that may promote cardiac recovery through suppression of inflammatory cytokines that can incite infection, bleeding, and thrombosis. In this randomized controlled trial, injection of MPCs did not improve left ventricular recovery as determined by proportion of successful LVAD weans over 6 months. Similarly, left ventricular ejection fractions (LVEFs) and quality of life scores were similar between groups.
Injection of MPCs may not have been effective for this condition for a variety of reasons, with one such reason being that cell delivery through direct transepicardial injection may result in significant cell loss and low rates of retention. The study’s conclusion is further limited by its enrollment of a wide spectrum of patients receiving 1 of 2 LVAD types, which may have increased variability in such a small trial.
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