Regenerative heart muscle tissue

I an aware that research is being carried out in regenerative tissue production especially heart muscle tissue. My question is: If the heart muscle is damaged (Myocarditis) by Vasculitis in that a part of the muscle stops working or becomes sluggish can that part be repaired by itself bearing in mind that the patient also suffers from the auto-immune disease Vasculitis?

3 Replies

  • This is something I'm very interested in, given that I had a big MI (heart attack) as a result of my vasculitis.

    As I understand it, most current research is aimed at treating ischemic heart disease where parts of the heart have been damaged and died following an MI. The body cannot regenerate damaged heart muscle tissue although there may be some small recovery in heart function after a heart attack. And as a result, reduced heart function, potential heart failure and subsequent reduction in quality of life and indeed life expectancy are very real consequences of MIs. So regenerating tissue in damaged hearts has become the holy grail for much current research.

    I believe that the BHF funds research that has had some success in regenerating heart tissue in mice models. But as yet a practical and clinical treatment for humans is a long way off. So whether such potential future treatment would be appropriate or effective for patients with vasculitis is a bit tricky to say. But my hope would be that for straight forward ischemia any such treatment would still be possible (given that the vasculitis was in remission).

    But myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) is a bit different to ischemia and of course there are a number of ways vasculitis can affect the heart from damaging heart valves, pericarditis, aneurysms in the aorta and so on. I'm not sure whether regenerating heart muscle tissue has any application for these sort of problems. But this sort of research is certainly exciting for those of us with heart conditions and something to keep an eye on.

  • Thanks Richard, I have done similar research into the possibility of heart muscle regenerative tissue and I agree that such treatment is still a long way off, at least for us mere humans. I was actually thinking that where the cause of the damage was directly related to vasculitis would it be a viable issue that such treatment would be effective even if the vasculitis were in remission?

    It is interesting that the current research refers to a substance which is generated within the marrow where most blood cells are created including those that make up the immune system which is where the problem lies since the lymphocytes that are related to vasculitis are also produced there. Hence the question. It is most probable that patients with vasculitis whether in remission or not would find that such treatment would not be acceptable for them. However, having said that, I do believe that with current research into the nuclear aspects of cell production there may be an eventual cure for vasculitis in all its present forms. Much advance has been made in treating vasculitis since the 1950's that that is becoming a very real possibility.

    We can only hope and carry on in the meantime.

  • Thank you Albasain and RichardE for bringing this issue up. I too have heart damage from my CSS, due to late diagnosis. My Vasculitis seems to be in drug induced remission but my heart (and lungs) will always be damaged. Any info on Vasculitis and the heart is, naturally, most interesting to me! Thanks guys! :-)

You may also like...