Researchers from Okayama University have developed a method to treat the congenital heart defect known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome [HLHS] by utilizing a specialized cardiac stem cell. In a Phase I clinical trial conducted on children suffering from HLHS, the scientists concluded that, because the young stem cells in children are more abundant and self-renewing than those in adults, intracoronary injection of stem cells is a safe and feasible approach to treating the condition. Continue reading
- Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease patient
The Mayo Clinic recently announced the first stem cell based clinical trial for treating pediatric congenital heart disease in the US. The stem cell therapy seeks to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a rare defect in which the left side of the heart is critically underdeveloped. The treatment utilizes patient’s own [autologous] stem cells taken from the child’s umbilical cord blood.
Four-year-old Angela Irizarry was born with a single pumping chamber in her heart, a potentially lethal defect referred to medically as “hypoplastic left heart syndrome”. With just one pumping ventricle instead of the usual two, her body can’t deliver sufficient levels of oxygen to its organs and extremities, compromising her development and resulting in debilitating fatigue. Without surgical repair, says her pediatric surgeon Dr. Christopher Breuer, 70% of children with this defect die before their first birthday.