Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common form of heart disease and the leading cause of death in the U.S. The condition develops when the arteries which deliver blood to the heart narrow and harden, caused by plaque buildup in their inner walls known as atherosclerosis. Left unaddressed, this condition can lead to a complete blockage of blood flow, which can result in heart attack, stroke, or blood clot.
There are several existing treatments available for CAD, including medications for controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, lifestyle changes, and coronary artery graft bypass surgery. The surgical procedure involves using blood vessels from other parts of the body to bypass damaged ones. Angioplasty may also be considered, in which the plaque is removed from arteries using a small balloon to push plaque away.
An Alternative Approach: Stem Cell Therapy
While conventional treatments are generally effective for treating CAD, they don’t address the underlying issue of plaque buildup. Stem cells, however, may help to eliminate plaque.
According to experts, inflammation plays a key role in the creation of plaques in the arteries. With their powerful anti-inflammatory properties, stem cells could help to prevent inflammation, and thus plaque, from building up in the arteries in the first place. The cells also have immunosuppressive and anti-angiogenic properties, which can help to combat existing plaque buildup and prevent further plaque from developing. Research indicates treating heart disease with stem cells is safe and can provide strong therapeutic outcomes.
In one study performed in the Netherlands, patients who were treated with bone marrow-derived stem cells experienced symptom relief and improvement in pain, as well as extreme reductions in artery blockages. Researchers suspect the stem cells either helped with the development of new blood vessels or aided in the removal of plaque in existing blood vessels.
Although stem cell therapy has yet to be adopted as a standard treatment for Coronary Artery Disease, it’s possible that in the future, it could be an alternative option that helps reduce surgeries and hospitalizations, prevents major cardiac events, and enhances the longevity and quality of life of many patients.
Many conditions may benefit from this regenerative medicine option and it is being researched and considered to help manage condition symptoms. To see if you are a candidate, please complete a contact form for a complimentary assessment.