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Heart failure (HF) is the major cause of mortality worldwide. For more than a decade, cell-based therapies have been developed as treatment for heart disease as an alternative to current therapies. Trials and systematic reviews have assessed the safety and efficacy of cell therapies in a diverse number of participants and clinical settings. The present study collated and synthesized evidence from all systematic reviews related to cell-based therapies and HF. A total of 11 systematic reviews were identified through searches of electronic databases up to June 2014. We set out to answer 2 key questions on the efficacy of cell therapies in HF: (1) What is the overall effect of cell therapies on primary outcomes such as left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and mortality? (2) How important is it to define the clinical setting and length of follow-up when assessing cell therapies and HF? There seems to be enough evidence to suggest that cell therapies have a moderate, long-lasting effect on LVEF, but the reduction on the risk of mortality observed by some systematic reviews needs to be confirmed in larger, statistically powered clinical trials. Additionally, and in order to strengthen conclusions, it is important to assess clinical evidence for defined clinical settings and to standardize the length of follow-up when comparing outcome data across several trials and systematic reviews.

Original publication




Journal article


Circ J

Publication Date





229 - 236


Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy, Clinical Trials as Topic, Databases, Factual, Heart Failure, Humans, Stroke Volume