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Meta-Analysis of Stem Cell Therapy in Chronic Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

Studies investigating bone marrow stem cell therapy (BMSCT) in patients with chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy have yielded mixed results. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of BMSCT in patients with chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy was undertaken to assess its efficacy and the best route of administration. The MEDLINE, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature, and Cochrane Library databases were searched through April 2012 for randomized controlled trials that investigated the impact of BMSCT and its route of administration on left ventricular (LV) function in patients with chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy and systolic dysfunction. Of the 226 reports identified, 10 randomized controlled trials including 519 patients (average LV ejection fraction [LVEF] at baseline 32 ± 7%) were included in the analysis. On the basis of a random-effects model, BMSCT improved the LVEF at 6 months by 4.48% (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.43% to 6.53%, p = 0.0001). A greater improvement in the LVEF was seen with intramyocardial injection compared with intracoronary infusion (5.13% [95% CI 3.17% to 7.10%], p <0.00001, vs 2.32% [95% CI −2.06% to 6.70%], p = 0.30). Overall, there were reductions in LV end-systolic volume of −20.64 ml (95% CI −33.21 to −8.07, p = 0.001) and LV end-diastolic volume of −16.71 ml (95% CI −31.36 to −2.06, p = 0.03). In conclusion, stem cell therapy may improve LVEF and favorably remodel the heart in patients with chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy. On the basis of current limited data, intramyocardial injection may be superior to intracoronary infusion in patients with LV systolic dysfunction.