An Indian scientist has revealed in his research that heart stem cells from children with congenital heart disease were able to rebuild the damaged heart in the laboratory.
Sunjay Kaushal, surgeon in the Division of Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery at Children's Memorial Hospital and assistant professor of surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who headed the study, believes these results show great promise for the growing number of children with congenital heart problems.
Study clearly shows that the cardiac stem cells are functional and can be used to repair the damaged heart. Cells were obtained from patients ranging in age from a few days after birth to 13 years who were undergoing routine congenital cardiac surgery. Findings show that the number of heart stem cells was greatest in neonates and then rapidly decreased with age, and that the highest numbers of these stem cells are located in the upper right chamber of the heart, or the right atrium.
The project has given a hope that children suffering from heart ailment will not have to undergo a heart transplant and allow them to have a longer and productive life.