Eve Weiler was at the 20th week of pregnancy, when doctors diagnosed that her yet unborn baby had a heart problem – the left ventricular hypoplasia syndrome. In this case a baby has only half of the heart. Newborns with this pathology usually need 3 operations, but despite this, they still develop heart failure in adulthood.
Doctors at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles (USA) have tried a somewhat new approach in the treatment of left ventricular hypoplasia syndrome. They store umbilical cord blood collected after childbirth, isolate stem cells from it, and inject them to small patients directly to the right ventricle during a second surgical intervention. Doctors and parents hope that this will contribute to the development of the myocardium and will delay or prevent the development of heart failure.
There is a program of free of charge storage of umbilical cord blood for children with heart defects in the United States, who have indications for stem cell treatment.
In Ukraine, the Institute of Cell Therapy in cooperation with the Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics and the Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology are developing technologies of the application of stem cells in the treatment of heart defects in children. Also, the Institute of Cell Therapy has a significant positive experience in the use of placental stem cells in the treatment of coronary heart disease and cord blood in the treatment of cardiomyopathy.