Recent Developments in Stem and Progenitor Cell Therapy for Cardiac Repair
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Recent Developments in Cardiovascular Research: The goal of “Recent Developments” is to provide a concise but comprehensive overview of new advances in cardiovascular research, which we hope will keep our readers abreast of recent scientific discoveries and facilitate discussion, interpretation, and integration of the findings. This will enable readers who are not experts in a particular field to grasp the significance and effect of work performed in other fields. It is our hope and expectation that these “Recent Development” articles will help readers to gain a broader awareness and a deeper understanding of the status of research across the vast landscape of cardiovascular research—The Editors.
Making our way through the beginning of the 21st century, we have seen the field of cardiovascular medicine make significant advances in both biomedical research and patient care. Despite these advancements, we continue to face statistics, which force us, time and again, to report heart failure (HF) as a leading cause of death in the United States and in much of the rest of the developed world.1 Indeed, refined pharmacological and surgical approaches have proven effective in management of acute and chronic cardiovascular diseases, but more frequently than not, only palliative measures are available, which serve to merely alleviate the burden of symptoms and delay disease progression to end-stage HF. HF itself is most accurately defined by the heart’s inability to sufficiently deliver blood to the surrounding organs and tissues of the body. Although there are a host of pathologies that can contribute to this condition, myocardial infarction (MI) resulting from atherosclerotic coronary artery disease is the leading event culminating in HF. After infarction, the heart experiences significant myocyte death and tissue necrosis. Damaged cardiac parenchyma is eventually replaced with fibrous scar, which lacks the contractile and conductive properties of normal myocardial …