Effect of aging on human mesenchymal stem cell therapy in ischemic cardiomyopathy patients

Samuel Golpanian, Jill El-Khorazaty, Adam Mendizabal, Darcy L DiFede, Viky Y Suncion, Vasileios Karantalis, Joel E Fishman, Eduard Ghersin, Wayne Balkan, Joshua M Hare
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2015 January 20, 65 (2): 125-32

BACKGROUND: The role of patient age in the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy in ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM) is controversial.

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to determine whether the therapeutic effect of culture-expanded MSCs persists, even in older subjects.

METHODS: Patients with ICM who received MSCs via transendocardial stem cell injection (TESI) as part of the TAC-HFT (Transendocardial Autologous Cells in Ischemic Heart Failure) (n = 19) and POSEIDON (Percutaneous Stem Cell Injection Delivery Effects on Neomyogenesis) (n = 30) clinical trials were divided into 2 age groups: younger than 60 and 60 years of age and older. Functional capacity was measured by 6-min walk distance (6MWD) and quality of life using the Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ) score, measured at baseline, 6 months, and 1 year post-TESI. Various cardiac imaging parameters, including absolute scar size, were compared at baseline and 1 year post-TESI.

RESULTS: The mean 6MWD was similar at baseline and increased at 1 year post-TESI in both groups: 48.5 ± 14.6 m (p = 0.001) for the younger and 35.9 ± 18.3 m (p = 0.038) for the older participants (p = NS between groups). The older group exhibited a significant reduction in MLHFQ score (-7.04 ± 3.54; p = 0.022), whereas the younger than 60 age group had a borderline significant reduction (-11.22 ± 5.24; p = 0.058) from baseline (p = NS between groups). Although there were significant reductions in absolute scar size from baseline to 1 year post-TESI, the effect did not differ by age.

CONCLUSIONS: MSC therapy with TESI in ICM patients improves 6MWD and MLHFQ score and reduces myocardial infarction size. Importantly, older individuals did not have an impaired response to MSC therapy.

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