Sunday, November 16, 2008

Umbilical Cord Stem Cells and Congenital Heart Disease

Umbilical cord stem cells can be used to repair certain congenital heart defects according to researchers at the University Hospital of Munich. Cardiologists at the institution report that in 5-7 years they will be able to transplant new heart valves into children with valvular anomalies. The valves would be grown from the children's own stem cells in their cord blood. The investigators recently presented their remarkable findings at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in New Orleans.

Tens of thousands of babies are born each year with congenital heart defects. You might remember hearing about the issue a few weeks back when Senator Dick Durbin, the number two ranking Democrat in the Senate, lost his oldest daughter Christine to complications from congenital heart disease.