Stem cell treatment for congestive heart failure
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart's function as a pump is inadequate to deliver oxygen rich blood to the body. Congestive heart failure can be caused by:
. diseases that weaken the heart muscle,
. diseases that cause stiffening of the heart muscles, or
. diseases that increase oxygen demand by the body tissue beyond the capability of the heart to deliver
adequate oxygen-rich blood.
Congestive heart failure can affect many organs of the body. For example:
The weakened heart muscles may not be able to supply enough blood to the kidneys, which then begin to lose their normal ability to excrete salt (sodium) and water. This diminished kidney function can cause the body to retain more fluid.
The lungs may become congested with fluid (pulmonary edema) and the person's ability to exercise is decreased.
Fluid may likewise accumulate in the liver, thereby impairing its ability to rid the body of toxins and produce essential proteins.
The intestines may become less efficient in absorbing nutrients and medicines.
Fluid also may accumulate in the extremities, resulting in edema (swelling) of the ankles and feet.
Ejection fraction at 20% is very low and indicates advanced heart failure. Healthy individuals typically have ejection fractions between 50% and 65%.
The main problem is that the pumping chamber of your heart, the left ventricle, is enlarged as as such is not beating efficiently which is why your EF% is low. It should be between 50% and 75% and it represents the amount of blood pumped out of the heart on each beat. The walls of your left ventricle are hypokinetic which means they do not contract properly, they are "lazy" which is why your EF% is low and you have Diastolic Dysfunction.
Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have two important characteristics that distinguish them from other cells in the body. First, they can replenish their numbers for long periods through cell division. Second, after receiving certain chemical signals, they can differentiate, or transform into specialized cells with specific functions, such as a heart cell or nerve cell.
Injections of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UCMSC) into damaged heart tissue may improve heart function in patients with severe congestive heart failure. Stem cells involved in the creation of new blood vessels and increase tissue perfusion. The stem cells are "transplanted" by infusing them into the coronary arteries, or by directly injecting them into the damaged heart muscle. Stem cells that are transplanted into heart muscle can survive for at least many months, and can differentiate into functioning heart cells.
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