Functional Recovery of a Human Neonatal Heart After Severe Myocardial Infarction
Rationale: Cardiac remodeling and subsequent heart failure remain critical issues after myocardial infarction despite improved treatment and reperfusion strategies. Recently, cardiac regeneration has been demonstrated in fish and newborn mice following apex resection or cardiac infarctions. Two key issues remain to translate findings in model organisms to future therapies in humans: what is the mechanism and can cardiac regeneration indeed occur in newborn humans?
Objective: To assess whether human neonatal hearts can functionally recover following myocardial infarction.
Methods and Results: Here, we report the case of a newborn child suffering from a severe myocardial infarction due to coronary artery occlusion. The child developed massive cardiac damage as defined by serum markers for cardiomyocyte cell death, electrocardiograms, echocardiography, and cardiac angiography. Remarkably, within weeks after the initial ischemic insult, we observed functional cardiac recovery, which translated into long-term normal heart function.
Conclusions: These data indicate that, similar to neonatal rodents, newborn humans might have the intrinsic capacity to repair myocardial damage and completely recover cardiac function.
- Received June 11, 2015.
- Revision received December 1, 2015.
- Accepted December 4, 2015.