Innovations in surgery could decrease heart problems

11 August 2011

Low-level laser treatment on people suffering heart problems as the result of a stroke or heart attack has been found to help repair the damage caused by illness.

Scarring of tissue which makes up the heart's thin walls is notoriously difficult to repair. However, Professor Uri Oron of the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University's George S Wise Faculty of Life Sciences found that stimulating stem cells through lasers, known as 'shining', could be effective.

Shining a person's bone marrow cells shortly before injecting them back into the blood stream a few hours following a heart attack could reduce scarring by up to 80 per cent, according to the paper published in the Lasers in Surgery and Medicine journal.

"The cells that eventually [migrate to] the heart secrete growth factors to a higher extent and new blood vessel formation is encouraged," explained Professor Oron.

In other radical cardiac-related research, alternative compounds affecting heart rate and pressure, and which could be used provide an alternative to an electric cardioversion procedure, were found in bear bile.

Posted by Edward Bartel

1 Tuby, Hana, Lidya Maltz and Uri Oron, "Induction of autologous mesenchymal stem cells in the bone marrow by low-level laser therapy has profound beneficial effects on the infarcted rat heart. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, July 2011.

2 M. Miragoli et al. "A protective anti-arrhythmic role of ursodeoxycholic acid in an in-vitro rat model of the cholestatic fetal heart." Hepatology. Monday August 1st 2011.

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