Patient's Stem Cells Used to Repair Myocardium Following MI

July 23, 2001; Hamburg, GERMANY (Reuters Health) -- "A German man who received stem cells for repair of myocardium after an MI is doing well two weeks after the ground-breaking procedure," physicians said Monday. "Hematopoietic cells and mesenchymal stem cells from the man's bone marrow were microinjected directly into the tissue of his heart during coronary artery bypass grafting," Profs. Gustav Steinhoff and Mathias Freund, of the Clinic of Cardiac Surgery in Rostock, North-East Germany, told Reuters Health.

"No complications were detected after the procedure, and the patient has now left the clinic to begin the process of rehabilitation," the doctors said. The German group stresses that this is only the first step in a long-term study. "In the first analysis, we have no adverse effects," Steinhoff told Reuters Health. "We did not see rhythm disorders and the inflammation was the same as after a bypass operation." But he added: "We have to wait with this patient for several months and with further patients, just to make a realistic assessment of the possible and associated risks." The physicians plan to perform the same operation on 20 more patients in the coming months.