Adult stem cell therapy is designed to address several types of cardiomyopathy and many of its symptoms. Because cardiomyopathy is a broad disease category, it is necessary to understand which ones are more likely to respond to treatment with stem cells.
Cardiomyopathy is, simply put, a disease of the heart. Such degeneration of heart muscle function is caused by a number of different potential factors, including:
- Plaque build-up related to coronary artery disease (CAD)
- A heart attack
- Certain viruses
Stem Cell Therapy for Cardiomyopathy
Cell therapy has been shown to be effective in reducing the infarct (scarring) caused by a heart attack as well as improving heart function when certain cell types are used—particularly cells from a person’s own fat (adipose tissue).
In alignment with the current medical literature, we have observed many patients achieve significant benefit in heart function and symptoms in cases of ischemic and non-ischemic cardiomyopathy through the mechanisms of increased blood flow, reduced inflammation and reduced scarring.
Common Cardiomyopathy Symptoms
Some patients are able to function normally with no symptoms, although the risk of sudden severe cardiac-related events is present. Others may experience:
- Shortness of breath
- Edema (swelling of legs/ankles/feet)
- Angina (chest pain)
- Excessive fatigue
As this disease worsens, the heart becomes progressively weaker and unable maintain consistent pumping rhythm. When this stage is reached, arrhythmia can develop along with heart valve issues, and it is not uncommon for these complications to further advance a patient into heart failure.
Modern medicine has afforded us several different avenues for cardiomyopathy treatment. The most common and traditional options are:
- Medications (blood thinners, diuretics, etc.)
- Lifestyle changes (including diet and exercise)
- Interventional surgery (such as stents or bypass surgery)
- Implanted devices (pacemaker, etc.)
These options are aimed at reducing the symptoms of cardiomyopathy and lessening the risk of complications. Patients who have been diagnosed with any form of cardiomyopathy are generally considered to be “at risk” of other serious conditions and complications such as clotting, heart murmurs or heart attacks. If left untreated, cardiomyopathy can progress to heart failure.
Improving Heart Function with Stem Cell Therapy
At Okyanos, adult stem cells are derived from a patient’s own body fat and delivered directly to the heart via an infusion into the coronary sinus. These cells (known as Adipose Derived Stem and Regenerative Cells or ADRCs) have been seen to achieve positive results in patients with ischemic and non-ischemic cardiomyopathy and other blood flow-related cardiac conditions.
Our cardiac team examines each patient case individually to determine candidacy for treatment. To learn more, you may contact a Patient Liaison by requesting a free educational consultation or dialing 855.OKYANOS (659.2667).