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Patch May Help After Heart Attack

Experimental Patch Would Go on the Heart After Heart Attack to Help Prevent Heart Failure
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Aug. 1, 2008 -- An experimental patch may help prevent heart failure after heart attack, preliminary research shows.

The patch, called Anginera, is worn directly on the heart. It's laced with cells and growth factors to spur the heart to grow new cells and blood vessels to prevent heart failure after a heart attack.

The patch is starting to be studied in people. But at an American Heart Association conference, scientists presented the results from testing the patch in rats.

The researchers implanted the patch on the rats' hearts either immediately after the rats had a heart attack or three weeks after the rats' heart attack, when heart failure had already begun.

In both cases, the rats had an improvement in their heart's pumping ability and blood flow to heart muscle. Those improvements were greater when the patch was implanted immediately after a heart attack.

The patch also appeared to help the heart's left ventricle -- which pumps blood out of the heart -- not become enlarged, as it would in heart failure. But implanting the patch when the rats already had heart failure didn't affect left ventricle size.

The researchers included Jordan Lancaster of the Southern Arizona VA Medical Center in Tucson and employees at Theregen, the San Francisco company that's developing the Anginera heart patch.

They presented the results in Keystone, Colo., at the American Heart Association's Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Conference 2008 -- Heart Failure: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Targets.

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