Restoration of microvascular function in the infarct-related artery by intracoronary transplantation of bone marrow progenitor cells in patients with acute myocardial infarction: the Doppler Substudy of the Reinfusion of Enriched Progenitor Cells and Infarct Remodeling in Acute Myocardial Infarction (REPAIR-AMI) trial

Sandra Erbs, Axel Linke, Volker Schächinger, Birgit Assmus, Holger Thiele, Klaus-Werner Diederich, Christina Hoffmann, Stefanie Dimmeler, Torsten Tonn, Rainer Hambrecht, Andreas M Zeiher, Gerhard Schuler
Circulation 2007 July 24, 116 (4): 366-74

BACKGROUND: The Doppler Substudy of the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Reinfusion of Enriched Progenitor Cells and Infarct Remodeling in Acute Myocardial Infarction (REPAIR-AMI) trial aimed to investigate the effects of intracoronary infusion of bone marrow-derived progenitor cells (BMCs) on coronary blood flow regulation in patients with reperfused acute myocardial infarction.

METHODS AND RESULTS: In a total of 58 patients (BMC group, n=30; placebo group, n=28), coronary flow reserve (CFR) in the infarct artery and a reference vessel was assessed by intracoronary Doppler at the time of study therapy (4.2+/-0.1 days after acute myocardial infarction) and at the 4-month follow-up. Initial CFR was reduced in the infarct artery compared with the reference vessel in both groups (BMC: 2.0+/-0.1 versus 2.9+/-0.2, P<0.05; placebo: 1.9+/-0.1 versus 2.8+/-0.2; P<0.05). At the 4-month follow-up, CFR in the infarct artery had slightly improved in the placebo group (+0.88+/-0.18; P<0.001 versus initial) but was markedly increased by 90% (+1.80+/-0.25; P=0.005 versus placebo) in BMC-treated patients, resulting in a normalization of CFR (3.8+/-0.2; P<0.001 versus initial and placebo at 4 months). In the infarct vessel, adenosine-induced minimal vascular resistance index declined slightly in the placebo group (from 1.77+/-0.12 to 1.52+/-0.15 mm Hg x s/cm; P<0.05) but considerably decreased by -29+/-6% in the BMC group (from 1.86+/-0.19 to 1.20+/-0.12 mm Hg x s/cm; P<0.05 versus initial and placebo at 4 months).

CONCLUSIONS: Intracoronary BMC therapy after acute myocardial infarction restores microvascular function of the infarct-related artery, which is associated with a significant improvement in maximal vascular conductance capacity. These data provide clinical proof of concept that progenitor cell transplantation promotes vascular repair.

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