After suffering from a heart attack, patients may eventually have a treatment option which uses their own stem cells to repair and restore heart muscle tissue.
According to the Centers for Disease control, over 600,000 people in the U.S. die yearly from heart disease, and 735,000 Americans have a heart attack each year. Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked leading to damage to the heart muscle tissue. The heart tries to heal after an infarction, but this involves the formation of scar tissue that does not restore adequate function to the heart. The advancement of regenerative medicine using adult stem cells for cardiac tissue repair has the potential to provide a means to repair heart tissue in a way that returns full heart muscle cell function.