Date Published: 8 November 2006

Revolutionary heart operation pioneered at Glenfield Hospital, UK

A man who has had multiple heart attacks has become the first patient in the UK to undergo a revolutionary procedure pioneered at Glenfield Hospital for the treatment of heart disease.

Doctors and researchers at Glenfield Hospital, one of the country's leading cardiac centres, are taking part in the assessment of a new treatment for heart disease which involves taking muscle from a patient's leg and extracting millions of muscle cells and then injecting them into the heart in a second operation in an attempt to repair the damage.

Ron Jackson, from Oakham, in Rutland - who has survived six heart attacks and bypass surgery - was the first person in the country to undergo this procedure. He had the operation at Glenfield Hospital and is now waiting to see if the treatment has been successful.

The special cells from the muscle were sent to a lab in Belgium to be cultured and two weeks later were sent back to Leicester for use in a second operation.


Dr Anthony Gershlick, consultant cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital and part of the Deaprtment of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University, said:

" The muscle cells were taken from the immature cells from the outside of the muscle bundle. They are the cells that help repair after a muscle injury.

_ The breathlessness experienced by heart attack patients can sometimes be treated by drugs and pacemakers, but in some cases this isn't enough to rectify the problem. There's been a concept for some time that if we could take immature cells and put them in the scarred area - they might start to perform and function as heart muscle cells."

Ron Jackson, aged 59, says:

"Heart attacks damage the muscle and if this procedure is going to help it grow back this is great news."

The research being carried out at Glenfield Hospital is part of a Europe-wide trial.


Source: Leicester University.

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