Stem Cell Therapy for Heart and Vascular Diseases

At a Glance

  • Surgery duration: 1 to 3 hours (outpatient)
  • Anesthesia: Exclusively local anesthesia (tumescent anesthesia)
  • Preliminary examinations: Blood test, further examinations depending on the patient’s state of health
  • Check-ups: To be arranged on an individual basis

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Cardio-vascular diseases are on the rise in the Western world. Almost everyone is at risk from one factor, whether it be nicotine consumption, overweight, diabetes, insufficient physical activity and family history. Diseases of the vessels and lymphatic system (including aneurysms, sclerosis and lymphedema) often have serious effects on the patient’s quality of life.

Even if the risk of these diseases occurring can be assessed, conventional medical assistance usually involves lengthy surgeries, numerous side effects and post-operative impairment. Medicinal therapies and surgery frequently effect merely an alleviation of the symptoms of the disease.

Stem cell therapy using stem cells from the patient’s autologous fat, so-called mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), offers a highly promising approach to the treatment of heart and vessel diseases. This could spare the patient from having to go through the strains and dangers of disease and conventional therapy, for both post-operative care and as a preventive measure.

Protection and Regeneration

Stem cells from body fat have the potential to contribute to the regeneration and growth of blood vessels. In doing so, they can replace old, damaged cells or cells that have already been lost to cell death.

Although sufficient data are not available at present that make treatment with autologous stem cells from fat generally recommendable in cases of cardio-vascular diseases, the amount of encouraging signs gained in many studies is increasing. Stem cells are, however, not a universal remedy.

I had permanent pain in the knees and the spine and could only walk short distances. Hiking, skiing, and cycling were impossible. My relatives often helped me at home. I felt in good hands in the Clinic DDr. Heinrich®. After the procedure my condition got better and better. The knees barely hurt after 3 weeks, the pain in the spine faded. I am very glad that I can go for light walks again!

Gertraud K.

For two years my knees hurt while walking and doing sports. I knew DDr. Heinrich from a successful treatment 20 years ago and consulted him with my problem. DDr. Heinrich treated my aching knees with my own stem cells, which he extracted from body fat. Since the procedure I am free from knee pain. I am looking forward to a future with sport and fun.

Sabine H., Vienna

For about 8 years I was struggling with pain in my knees. Sitting for long periods of time was no longer possible and I had to restrict my beloved hiking tours in the mountains. After a treatment of my knee joints with body’s own fat stem cells at the clinic of DDr. Heinrich, I’m finally much more flexible today. I can climb stairs again without any pain and I am able to go hiking in the nature.

Mrs. F., Carinthia

After meniscus surgery, I suffered from knee pain for 3 years. Every day I needed help in the household and when shopping. I immediately felt in good hands in the Clinic DDr. Heinrich®. About a month after the knee treatment with my stem cells, I noticed a significant relief of my pain, especially when walking. Many thanks to DDr. Heinrich and his team!

Mrs. Sch., 65

Over the past 5 years, the pain in my forefeet has been getting worse. Standing upright and climbing stairs made me feel uncomfortable. Pain medications only led to a short improvement. The regenerative treatment with my own fat stem cells convinced me. After the treatment of my feet, I noticed that the pain was steadily declining. I do not need painkillers anymore and I can go for a walk again.

Ruža N., 59

Previously, it was necessary to obtain autologous stem cells from bone marrow and muscle tissue in complex procedures, and to artificially reproduce them in a laboratory. In the meantime it is known that every person has rich reserves of mesenchymal stem cells in his/her fat tissue, and that reproduction of the stem cells is not required before the application.

The stem cells are gained from a small quantity of autologous fat, extracted with fine microcannulas in a minimally invasive procedure using local anesthesia. Immediately afterwards, the stem cells are introduced into the body where their regenerative effect begins to work. The patient is fully mobile after treatment and can resume normal everyday activities.

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  • Conrad, C., Niess, H., Huss, R., et al.: Multipotent mesenchymal stem cells acquire a lymphendothelial phenotype and enhance lymphatic regeneration in vivo. Circulation January 20, 2009; 119: 281–9. Epub December 31, 2008.
  • Gao, L., Bledsoe, G., Yin, H., et al.: Tissue kallikrein-modified mesenchymal stem cells provide enhanced protection against ischemic cardiac injury after myocardial infarction. Circ J 2013; 77 (8): 2134–44. Epub May 21, 2013.
  • Granel, B., Daumas, A., Jouve, E., et al.: Safety, tolerability and potential efficacy of injection of autologous adipose-derived stromal vascular fraction in the fingers of patients with systemic sclerosis: an open-label phase I trial. Ann Rheum Dis August 11, 2014. Epub ahead of print.
  • Jui, H.-Y., Lin, C.-H., Hsu, W.-T., et al.: Autologous mesenchymal stem cells prevent transplant arteriosclerosis by enhancing local expression of interleukin-10, interferon-γ, and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase. Cell Transplant 2012; 21 (5): 971–84. Epub March 22, 2012.
  • Lee, J.S., Hong, J.M., Moon, G.J., et al.: A long-term follow-up study of intravenous autologous mesenchymal stem cell transplantation in patients with ischemic stroke. Stem Cells June 2010; 28 (6): 1099–106.
  • Perin, E.C., Sanz-Ruiz, R., Sánchez, P.L., et al.: Adipose-derived regenerative cells in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy: The PRECISE Trial. Am Heart J July 2014; 168 (1): 88–95.e2. Epub April 5, 2014.
  • Rehman, J., Traktuev, D., Li, J., et al.: Secretion of angiogenic and antiapoptotic factors by human adipose stromal cells. Circulation March 16, 2004; 109 (10): 1292–8. Epub March 1, 2004.
  • Riera Del Moral, L., Aramburu, C.L., García, J.R., et al.: Experimental model for coadjuvant treatment with mesenchymal stem cells for aortic aneurysm. Am J Stem Cells 2012; 1 (3): 174–81. Epub November 30, 2012.
  • Vono, R., Spinetti, G., Gubernator, M., Madeddu, P.: What’s new in regenerative medicine: split up of the mesenchymal stem cell family promises new hope for cardiovascular repair. J Cardiovasc Transl Res October 2012; 5 (5): 689–99. Epub August 11, 2012.

This page serves the purpose of information only and is not to be understood as medical advice. We would like to expressly point out that a cure cannot be guaranteed. Stem cell therapy is an advanced procedure, which has only recently been applied worldwide and for which the long-term studies and reliable documentation on successes, risks and side effects required for a recognized procedure are not yet available.

The legislation on stem cell therapies and conducting of new therapies varies from country to country worldwide. In our clinic in Austria we only carry out the treatments permitted under the applicable legal situation. For other treatments we have worldwide contacts in our cooperation network and can support the selection of specialized medical facilities abroad.

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