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AHA: Patch May Improve Heart Function After Heart Attack

More effective when implanted at time of attack rather than at heart failure

THURSDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- A heart patch can improve heart function and blood flow but is more effective when implanted at the time of heart attack rather than at heart failure in rats, according to a study presented July 30 at the American Heart Association meeting in Keystone, Colo.

Jordan J. Lancaster, from Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tuscon, and colleagues implanted a viable 3-dimensional fibroblast construct (3DFC) patch on the heart of rats induced to have an acute myocardial infarction, either at the time of infarct or three weeks later after coronary ligation when the rat was in heart failure. The patch provides matrix support and growth factor stimulation, they note.

The researchers found that implanting the patch at the time of infarct compared with at heart failure led to significant improvements in left ventricular ejection fraction, systolic displacement of the infarcted anterior wall, and myocardial blood flow. No left ventricular remodeling occurred when the patch was implanted at the time of heart failure, and left ventricular hemodynamics were not altered in either case.

"We report improvements in left ventricular function and myocardial blood flow in both acute myocardial infarction and chronic heart failure treated with a 3DFC patch," Lancaster and colleagues write. "Our conclusion is that improving matrix support and myocardial blood flow prevents adverse left ventricular remodeling only in an acute myocardial infarction; it does not reverse left ventricular remodeling in chronic heart failure."

Authors of the study report a relationship with Theregen, Inc.

Abstract #P171
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