ANGIOLOGY, vol.59, no.2, pp.145-155, 2008 (SCI-Expanded)
This study investigated the effects of intracoronary autologous bone marrow-derived mononuclear cell (BMC) transplantation on coronary microcirculation. Fifteen patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy were treated by intracoronary infusion of BMCs via the patent infarct-related artery. The thermodilution-derived coronary flow reserve, index of microvascular resistance, pressure-derived collateral flow index, and coronary wedge pressure were measured at baseline and at 6 months. Successive balloon inflations during BMC transplantation were performed to observe the recruitment in pressure-derived collateral flow index and coronary wedge pressure, and the percentage changes between baseline and 6 months were calculated. The mean (SD) coronary flow reserve increased from 1.3 (0.4) to 2.1 (0.5), and the mean (SD) index of microvascular resistance decreased from 44.9 (24.4) to 21.2 (14.1) (P = .001 for both). The mean (S D) improvement in pressure-derived collateral flow index (from 0.14 [0.05] to 0.22 [0.08]) was also statistically significant (P = .001). Similarly, the percentage improvements in pressure-derived collateral flow index and coronary wedge pressure were statistically significant (P = .01 for both). The percentage improvement in perfusion assessed by single-photon emission computed tomography strongly correlated with the percentage changes in pressure-derived collateral flow index (r = 0.88, P = .001) and coronary wedge pressure (r = 0.69, P = .01). These results demonstrate for the first time (to our knowledge) that intracoronary autologous BMC transplantation improves coronary collateral vessel formation and recruitment capacity in human subjects.