Cardiology in the Young

Continuing Medical Education

Stem cells and their potential relevance to paediatric cardiology

Frank Pillekamp a1a2, Michael Reppel a2, Konrad Brockmeier a1 and Jürgen Hescheler a2c1
a1 Paediatric Cardiology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
a2 Institute of Neurophysiology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

Article author query
pillekamp f   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
reppel m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
brockmeier k   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hescheler j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Basic scientists, as well as cardiologists, are caught by the idea of curing ischaemic heart disease with cardiac progenitor or stem cells. This short review provides an overview of our current knowledge on the potential use of stem cells for cardiac disease. Since, in infants and children, aetiologies and pathomechanisms of critical cardiac disease are fundamentally different from those in adults, we will also address the question as to whether such young patients could be a therapeutic target at all, and in which respect it may be necessary to view treatment with stem cells from a different stance in the developing organism.

(Accepted September 7 2005)

Key Words: Pluripotent stem cell; bioprosthesis; cardiovascular diseases; therapy.

c1 Correspondence to: Prof. Jürgen Hescheler MD, Institute of Neurophysiology, Medical Faculty, University of Cologne, Germany, Robert-Koch-Strasse 39, D-50931 Köln, Germany, Tel: +49 221 478 6960; Fax: +49 221 478 6965; E-mail: