Jan Otto Beitnes

Jan Otto Beitnes, MD, PhD, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet

Beitnes defended his PhD thesis "Cell therapy in acute myocardial infarctio" in February 2012. He investigated the effect of different types of stem cell treatment after acute myocardial infarction.

The ASTAMI study was conducted in 2003-05. 100 patients treated with acute PCI (percutanious coronary intervention) for left frontal vein due to acute myocardial infarction were randomized to a group receiving cell therapy and a control group. Both groups received regular medical treatment. In the cell group, bone marrow cells were harvested and were injected into the coronary artery of the heart 5-8 days after the infarction.

The follow-up study showed low incidence of reinfarction, stroke, death, arrhythmias and other clinical events three years after cell treatment, with no signs of difference between the groups. Working capacity and quality of life were similar in both groups. Treatment with bone marrow cells had no significant effect on the heart's structure or function assessed by MRI and extensive ultrasound analyzes of the heart.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) can be harvested from adipose tissue and muscle tissue, and when these cells are grown and then injected into the heart after a heart attack, a reduction in infarct size and improvement of cardiac function can be seen four weeks after the treatment. The injected cells do not appear to form heart muscle or vascular structures themselves, but affect the healing process after the infarction in another way. MSC are relevant cells for testing in further studies.


Center for Cardiological Innovation