Regenerate. Repair. Restore.

Stem Cells Therapy for Myocardial Infarction (MI, Heart Attack)

A myocardial infarct, also called a heart attack or MI, is a life-threatening emergency, and occurs when the blood supply to the heart is suddenly blocked. “Myo” means muscle, “cardial” means relating to the heart, and “infarct” is a small localized area of dead tissue resulting from failure of blood supply.

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute offers a safe, non-surgical treatment for the repair of the ischemic damage that occurs from a heart attack.

What causes a myocardial infarct (heart attack)?

Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of heart attacks. Coronary artery disease is the buildup of plaque, causing a narrowing or blocking the blood vessels in the coronary arteries.

Coronary arteries carry oxygen rich blood to the heart. Plaque is caused by the presence of cholesterol, calcium, fat, and other substances in the blood.

When plaque builds up in the blood vessels it narrows the arteries causing them to harden and weaken, reducing the amount of oxygen rich blood to the heart.

If the plaque building up in the coronary arteries breaks, a blood clot forms around the plaque. If the clot cuts off the blood flow to the heart muscle completely, the heart muscle is unable to get the necessary oxygen and nutrients causing a part of the heart muscle to die. 

The result is a heart attack or myocardial infarction.

Although rare, other causes of myocardial infarction include:

  • Injury caused by direct impact to heart
  • A spasm of the coronary artery
  • Surgery
  • Drug abuse
  • Symptoms of a heart attack
  • Chest pain that can radiate to the jaw, neck, arms and back.
  • Sweating
  • The chest may feel like it is being pressed or squeezed by a heavy object.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling weak
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling of indigestion

It takes about 6-8 weeks for the heart to heal the damaged area. 

A scar will form where the damage occurred and that area will no longer contract, reducing the heart’s ability to pump. 

How severely the heart is permanently damaged depends on the location and size of the scar.

How can stem cell therapy improve heart function?

Stem cell transplantation uses healthy cells to promote the repair of damaged cells and regeneration of healthy and functional cells to repair injured tissue.

The therapeutic effect of stem cell transplantation in patients following a heart attack may be due to the paracrine effect.

The theory is transplanted stem cells repair damaged tissue by releasing factors that promote regeneration of healthy stem cells, reduce inflammation, promote the growth of new blood vessels, inhibit cell death, and reduce hypertrophy.1

What are scientists researching?

According to (, currently there are more than 90 trials evaluating stem cell therapy for the treatment of myocardial infarction.

Initial research using mesenchymal stem cell transplantation shows stem cell therapy can:

  • Improve left ventricular function
  • Improve myocardial perfusion
  • Improve quality of life

Adipose derived stem cells improve left ventricular function, promote angiogenesis, lower fibrosis, and decrease inflammation.

Several months following treatment, stem cells continue to migrate to the heart muscle regenerating and renewing healthy heart function.

Stem cell therapy cannot help all patients, but for many patients stem cell therapy combined with lifestyle modification may be a safe, effective, non-surgical alternative treatment.

Lifestyle changes that can help reduce the risk of a second heart attack:

  • Quit smoking
  • Following a healthy diet low in salt and saturated fat
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Daily exercise
  • Control high blood pressure
  • Control diabetes
  • Control high cholesterol
  • Practice good hygiene

What is the treatment protocol for myocardial infarction at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute?

For optimal results, the Stem Cells Transplant Institute recommends the use of hUC-MSCs for the treatment of MI.

If the patient prefers, autologous mesenchymal stem cells derived from the patient’s own adipose tissue and bone marrow, can also be used to treat myocardial infarction.

Treatment includes:

  • 1cc vial of mesenchymal stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood or bone marrow and adipose derived, autologous mesenchymal stem cells
  • Antioxidant therapy with vitamin C and glutathione
  • Ozone therapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP)

What are the advantages of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells?

  • Abundant supply containing up to 10 times more stem cells than bone marrow or adipose derived stem cells
  • hUC-MSC have immunosuppressors and immunomodulatory properties that allow their use in any individual without rejection- Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matching is not necessary
  • Greater proliferation ability than adult autologous stem cells
  • They regenerate at a very rapid rate
  • They have not been impacted by the aging process
  • They have not been affected by environmental toxins
  • Umbilical cord stem cells can be administered multiple times over the course of days
  • Eliminates the need to collect stem cells from the patient’s fat or hip bone reducing pain and recovery time
umbilical cord donations
Intravenus Administration

How Are the Stem Cells Collected?

Our clinic focuses on obtaining healthy stem cells exclusively from umbilical cord blood donors. We collect the placenta once the baby is born, with the parent’s informed consent. Additionally, we follow strict ethical guidelines and collect stem cells from reliable and reputable sources.

How Are the Stem Cells Administered?

Our nursing staff administers the stem cells through an intravenous and intra-pulmonary route. For the most effective outcomes, intravenous administration is preferred.

About the Stem Cells Transplant Institute

Our clinic is located in Costa Rica, which is one of the most popular medical tourism destinations for stem cell therapy. At the Stem Cells Transplant Institute, we have a skilled team of doctors and medical professionals who collect and administer stem cells to treat autism and other conditions. Every patient receives the most cost-effective and top-notch care from our dedicated team.

Scientific References:

  1. Sun R.Advances in stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease (Review). National Journal of Mol. Med. 38: 23-29, 2016.
  2. Stem cell-based therapies to promote angiogenesis in ischemic cardiovascular disease Luqia Hou,1,2 Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 310: H455–H465, 2016.
  3. Hare JM, Fishman JE, Gerstenblith G, DiFede Velazquez DL, Zambrano JP, Suncion VY, Tracy M, Ghersin E, Johnston PV, Brinker JA, Breton E, Davis-Sproul J, Schulman IH, Byrnes J, Mendizabal AM, Lowery MH, Rouy D, Altman P, Wong Po Foo C,  Ruiz P, Amador A, Da Silva J, McNiece IK, Heldman AW, George R, Lardo A. Comparison of allogeneic vs autologous bone marrowderived  mesenchymal stem cells delivered by transendocardial injection in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy: the POSEIDON randomized trial. JAMA 308: 2369–2379, 2012.