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2018 | 93 | 92-99
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Stem cells - a new rescue in cardiology?

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In recent years stem cells have become the object of curiosity for many researchers and clinicians. Interest in the use of these cells is an effect of their specific properties. Their great potential for self-renewal as well as the ability to differentiate into specific cell types is particularly interesting. These unique features allow us to think about stem cells as a possible therapeutic solution in the treatment of damaged tissues. The tissue that is particularly vulnerable to damage is heart muscle, which consists of cardiomyocytes. These cells are extremely vulnerable to lack of the oxygen, what can be observed in the case of temporary cardiac ischemia, e.g. during physical exertion or in stressful situations, which initially manifests as stable angina. Prolonged ischemia and consequent hypoxia of cardiomyocytes lead to their death what is manifested as myocardial infarction. An extensive area of post-infarction necrosis impairs heart functioning as a blood pumping organ what leads to its failure. Researchers are still searching for a therapy that would replace large areas of dead cardiomyocytes with new cells, and thus potentially minimize the negative effects of myocardial necrosis and postpone the impairment of its function. Due to their properties, it seems a good idea to introduce stem cells as a method of treatment, hence many studies are conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of these cells in the treatment of cardiac patients. This paper presents a literature review of stem cell applications in the aforementioned cardiac diseases, taking into account the obtained results.
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  • Department and Clinic of Internal and Occupational Diseases, Hypertension and Clinical Oncology, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland
  • Department and Clinic of Internal and Occupational Diseases, Hypertension and Clinical Oncology, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland
  • Clinical Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases, 4th Military Hospital, Wroclaw, Poland
  • Department and Clinic of Geriatrics, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland
  • Department and Clinic of Internal and Occupational Diseases, Hypertension and Clinical Oncology, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland
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