Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) still represent the leading cause of mortality
worldwide, despite the remarkable advances in interventional cardiology, cardiac surgery, and modern
pharmacotherapy, particularly in the setting of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), chronic ischemic
heart failure (HF), cardiomyopathy (CM), and the associated left ventricular (LV) dysfunction.
A significant loss of cardiomyocytes that underlies all of these conditions was previously considered
irreversible. However, current evidence indicates that the human heart has some potential for repair,
and over the past decade, many research studies have been exploring the use of stem cells (SCs) to
facilitate restoration of myocardium. Consequently, the safety, feasibility, and effectiveness of SC
therapy have been reported in many randomized clinical trials (RCTs), using different lineages of
adult SCs. Nevertheless, the clinical benefits of SC therapy are not yet well established. In the near
future, understanding of the complex interrelations between SCs, paracrine factors, genetic or epigenetic
predispositions, and myocardial microenvironment, in the context of an individual patient,
will be crucial for translation of this knowledge into practical development of successful, long-term
regenerative SC therapeutic applications, in a growing population of patients suffering from previous
myocardial infarction (MI) leading to chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy.
Conclusion: This overview highlights the therapeutic potential of adult SCs in terms of their possible
regenerative capacity, safety, and clinical outcomes, in patients with AMI, and/or subsequent HF
(due to chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy). This review was based upon PubMed database search for
trials on SC therapy, in patients with AMI and HF, and the main timeframe was set from 2006 to 2016.