Okyanos Stem Cell Therapy is designed to help several types of cardiomyopathy and many of the symptoms of this condition. Because cardiomyopathy is a broad disease category, it is necessary to understand which ones respond to adult stem cell therapy.

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
  • Genetics
  • Certain viruses

Why Stem Cell Therapy for Cardiomyopathy?

Cardiac cell therapy has been shown to be effective in reducing the damage from 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).

We have seen significant benefit in heart function and symptoms in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy in a number of clinical trials. This results from increased blood flow, reduced inflammation and the reversal of cell death in the heart muscle. It is too early to tell whether stem cell therapy can treat all forms of cardiomyopathy. The form of cardiomyopathy which results in restricted blood flow (ischemia) does respond to adult stem cell therapy.

Types of Cardiomyopathy

There isn’t a definite course of action for those suffering with cardiomyopathy. Prognosis is based wholly on the individual’s medical history and which specific condition he has.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

  • Patients with DCM experience an enlargement of the heart. This leads to inefficiency and inability of the organ to efficiently pump blood to the rest of the body. DCM can be precipitated by a number of different factors (different viruses, post-partum conditions, a leaky aortic valve, etc.), but most researchers agree that a definite cause may not be known.

Ischemic Cardiomyopathy (ICM)

  • When blood flow to the heart is cut off (ischemia), the heart’s pumping chamber becomes enlarged and weak. This is usually seen in patients who have had heart attacks or who have coronary artery disease. Ischemic cardiomyopathy is a type of dilated cardiomyopathy.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

  • Also sometimes referred to as obstructive cardiomyopathy, HCM can be familial or passed down through genetics. In an obstructive form of HCM, the heart’s blood outflow capacity is affected by the hardening of the myocardium (heart muscle.)

Common Cardiomyopathy Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Edema (swelling of legs/ankles/feet)
  • Angina (chest pain)
  • Excessive fatigue

Some patients are able to function normally with no symptoms, although the risk of sudden severe cardiac-related events is present.

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.

Cardiomyopathy Treatments

Modern research and medicine have afforded us several different avenues for cardiomyopathy treatment. The most common and traditional options are:

  1. Medications (blood thinners, diuretics, etc.)
  2. Lifestyle changes (including diet and exercise)
  3. Interventional surgery (such as stents or bypass surgery)
  4. Implanted devices (pacemaker, etc.)

Depending on what specific condition a patient has, these various options are aimed at reducing the symptoms of cardiomyopathy and lessening the risk of complications. Patients who have been diagnosed with any form of the disease 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 Okyanos Cardiac Cell Therapy

At Okyanos, adult stem cells are derived from a patient’s own body fat and injected into the portions of the heart exhibiting signs of ischemia, or decreased blood flow. These cells (known as Adipose Derived Stem and Regenerative Cells or ADRCs) have been seen to achieve positive results in post-heart attack patients and those experiencing angina or heart failure.

Not all forms of cardiomyopathy have been researched thoroughly with adult stem cell therapy. Patients with ischemic as well as non-ischemic cardiomyopathy and other blood flow-related cardiac conditions have made positive improvements with Okyanos Cell Therapy. Our doctors examine each patient case individually to determine candidacy for cardiac cell therapy.

To learn more, you may contact a Patient Liaison by requesting a free educational consultation or dialing 855.OKYANOS (659.2667).