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Iranian Physicians Graft Bone Marrow Stem Cells to a Child’s Heart

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Iranian physicians have used an innovative measure to graft stem cells to the heart of a pediatric patient, aged 10 years, at Imam Khomeini Hospital of Tehran.

The child was hospitalized for severe heart failure due to cardiomyopathy.

Dr. Ali Akbar Zinanlou, head of the transplant team, has noted that in the new method, bone marrow stem cells have been cultured and grafted into the patient’s heart.

He added, “During the invasive operation, which took about two hours, cells were transferred to coronary arteries of the child by inserting small tubes inside peripheral arteries without surgery.”

Dr. Zinanlou added that a sophisticated method has been used to reduce circulation in coronary arteries by obstructing cardiac veins (coronary sinus) in order to enhance attachment of cells.

The physician noted that the operation has been carried out by a team of 10 Iranian researchers and expressed hope that if needed funds were appropriated, questions raised by scientists could be answered.

Dr. Mohammad Reza Mohammad Hassani, another member of the team, has confirmed the news adding that the child’s general conditions are satisfactory.

“Fortunately, the operation was completed without complications and early follow-up shows that the transplant has been successful,” he added.

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