Intramyocardial injection of bone marrow cells (BMC) in refractory angina patients with chronic myocardial ischemia has shown to be safe and improve clinical status during short-term follow-up. However, scarce data are available on long-term (>12 months) safety and efficacy. Therefore, the occurrence of clinical events and the long-term clinical effects of intramyocardial BMC injection were evaluated in patients with chronic myocardial ischemia up to 10 years after treatment.
Methods and Results
Patients (n = 100, age 64 ± 9 years, male 88%) with chronic myocardial ischemia who underwent intramyocardial BMC injection between 2004 and 2010 were evaluated. During yearly outpatient clinic visits, the occurrence of clinical events was documented. In addition, clinical status was assessed according to the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) score and quality of life was measured using the Seattle Angina Questionnaire. These parameters were evaluated at baseline and during the first year, followed by cross-sectional long-term follow-up which was performed in 2011 and 2014. No adverse events considered related to the procedure occurred during 10 years of follow-up. Observed annual mortality rate and annual myocardial infarction rate were 3.8% and 1.9% per year, respectively. When compared to baseline, CCS class and quality of life remained significantly better during 5-year follow-up after BMC treatment (both P < 0.05).
The present long-term follow-up study shows that intramyocardial BMC injection in patients with chronic myocardial ischemia is safe and improves both angina complaints and quality of life up to 5 years after BMC treatment.