Adult stem cell therapy has been shown in a number of clinical trials to slow and, in some cases, even reverse heart deterioration in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Adult stem cells have the ability to become specialized cells and heal injured tissues, such as those found in a damaged heart.
What is Coronary Artery Disease?
Oxygen-rich blood travels from the heart to surrounding parts of the body through arteries. When an artery becomes blocked, neighboring organs can become damaged and starved of oxygen and nutrients. When a coronary artery of the heart is blocked, the heart muscle struggles to function normally due to the disruption of flow.
Coronary artery disease is a heart disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries of the heart, causing ischemia (inhibited flow.) Problems with heart function can have devastating effects on the entire body. CAD can progress to a condition known as Congestive Heart Failure, which occurs when damage to the heart becomes so extensive that it cannot adequately fulfill its job as a pump.
Coronary Artery Disease Symptoms
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CAD (also called coronary heart disease) is a leading cause of mortality in the United States. Although the condition often manifests itself as chest pain, many patients experience a deteriorating quality of life including some or all of these coronary artery disease symptoms:
- Angina (chest pains)
- Shortness of breath
- Heart attacks
CAD Treatment Options
In its early stages, CAD is managed with medications and lifestyle changes. The objective is to prevent progression of the coronary artery blockages, thus preventing heart attacks and further damage to the heart muscle. If this approach is unsuccessful, more aggressive interventions are used. Angioplasty involves using a balloon to open the coronary artery blockages or sometimes a stent will be inserted to hold the vessel open. There are also devices which can be implanted and more invasive surgery procedures which are appropriate options for some. Coronary artery disease is a progressive condition which has been known to worsen despite such aggressive measures.
Stem Cell Therapy for Coronary Artery Disease
In the past, exhaustion of these traditional cardiac treatment options meant being labeled as a “no-option” heart patient. Further, some patients may be unable to undergo heart transplantation while others may not be matched with a donor heart in time. Despite the use of currently available treatments, these “no-option” patients experience deterioration in their quality of life, and their life expectancy shortens.
Stem cell therapy at Okyanos utilizes adult stem and regenerative cells obtained from the patient’s own fat tissue. These cells are then delivered to the heart via infusion into the coronary sinus, where they prompt the growth of new blood vessels. This non-invasive procedure can restore blood flow to the heart and improve heart function, leading to improved quality of life. Based on positive results produced from a number of scientific clinical trials, coronary artery disease therapy using adult stem cells is a promising new method of treatment for coronary artery disease patients.
To learn more, you may contact a Patient Liaison by requesting a free educational consultation or dialing 855.OKYANOS (659.2667).