Objective To assess the determinants of functional recovery in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) treated initially with thrombolysis, followed by percutaneous coronary intervention and intracoronary injection of bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMC).
Design A randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study (substudy of FINCELL).
Setting Two tertiary cardiac centres.
Participants 78 patients with STEMI randomly assigned to receive either intracoronary BMC (n=39) or placebo (n=39) into the infarct-related artery.
Interventions Thrombolysis a few hours after symptom onset, percutaneous coronary intervention and intracoronary injection of BMC 2–6 days later.
Main outcome measures Efficacy of the BMC treatment was assessed by measurement of the change of global left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) from baseline to 6 months after STEMI. Various predefined variables (eg, the levels of certain natriuretic peptides and inflammatory cytokines) were analysed as determinants of improvement of LVEF.
Results In the BMC group, the most powerful determinant of the change in LVEF was the baseline LVEF (r=−0.58, p<0.001). Patients with baseline LVEF at or below the median (≤62.5%) experienced a more marked improvement in LVEF (+12.7±12.5 %units, p<0.001) than those above the median (−0.8±6.3 %units, p=0.10). Elevated N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide (p<0.001) and N-terminal proatrial natriuretic peptide (p=0.052) levels were also associated with improvement in LVEF in the BMC group but not in the placebo group.
Conclusions The global LVEF recovers most significantly after intracoronary infusion of BMC in patients with the most severe impairment of LVEF on admission. The baseline levels of natriuretic peptides seem also to be associated with LVEF recovery after BMC treatment.
Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00363324.
- Acute coronary syndrome
- bone marrow stem cells
- left ventricular ejection fraction
- natriuretic peptides
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Funding The study was supported by grants from the Medical Council of the Academy of Finland, Helsinki, Finland and the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research, Helsinki, Finland.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Ethical Committee of the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District.
Patient consent Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.