Stem Cells May Be Stimulated in Women With Chest Pain But Normal Coronary Arteries Interview with: Arshed A. Quyyumi MD; FRCP

Dr. Arshed Auyyumi Interview with:
Arshed A. Quyyumi MD; FRCP
Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
Emory University School of Medicine
Co-Director, Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute
Atlanta GA 30322 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Circulating progenitor or stem cells were discovered in adults 15 years ago. We now know that they may be stimulated by injury or ischemia, and they go down in number and function with aging, particularly when aging is associated with risk factors.

Women with chest pain despite normal coronary arteries are thought to have ischemia because of microvascular dysfunction. We found that these women, with the worst microvascular function (measured as coronary flow reserve), had higher levels of circulating stem or progenitor cells. This implies that the mild ischemia they are having during their normal daily life, leads to stimulation of their stem cells. Also, the vascular abnormality may be a stimulus for repair. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: That there is stimulation of repair responses, mediated by stem cells, due to ischemia suffered by women with chest pain and normal arteries due to microvascular disease and ischemia. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Need to test whether treatment with exogenous stem cells will improve microvascular function and outcomes. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Circulating progenitor cells and coronary microvascular dysfunction: Results from the NHLBI-sponsored Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation – Coronary Vascular Dysfunction Study (WISE-CVD)
Mekonnen, Girum et al.
Atherosclerosis , Volume 253 , 111 – 117

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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