Heart failure: When blood hurts the heart

Relationship between changes in blood stem cells and cardiac insufficiency revealed

In Germany, two million patients with chronic heart failure, also called congestive heart failure suffer almost. Researchers have now gained new knowledge on the basis of which may arise new possibilities of prevention.

The most common diagnosis for a hospital inpatient treatment

Nearly two million people in Germany suffer from a chronic heart weakness, the so-called heart failure. As a result of this disease, the heart is no longer able to supply the body sufficiently with blood and oxygen. A chronic heart weakness occurs, especially after a heart attack or prolonged high blood pressure disease and is currently the most common diagnosis for a hospital inpatient treatment, according to the University hospital in Frankfurt in a message. Scientists at the hospital have now gained new knowledge on the basis of which may arise new possibilities of prevention.

New findings could contribute to the prevention of the disease

A weak heart leads to shortness of breath, decrease in efficiency, fatigue, and water retention in the legs.

As a result, the quality of life is reduced in many Affected massively. In addition, this heart disease is often associated with mental health problems.

In the past years, it was repeatedly reported about new approaches to the treatment of heart weakness.

And now, German researchers have gained new insights that may contribute to the prevention of the disease.

The scientists of the University hospital of Frankfurt have shown to their own information, for the first time, that there is a connection between genetically modified blood stem cells and the Occurrence of a heart failure after Infarction.

The results of the study were recently published in the journal “JAMA Cardiology”.

Genetically modified blood stem cells

As it says in the message, produce individual blood stem cells by genetic changes in blood cells than non-modified stem cells.

“The fact that every day new cells are formed in the blood, can be achieved by a uniform contribution of thousands of blood stem cells in the bone marrow,” explains Prof. Michael Rieger, head of stem cell biology at the Medical clinic II at the University hospital in Frankfurt.

“Only recently it could be shown by advanced methods of analysis, increasing age, individual stem cells by gene alterations of the blood-formation can dominate.”

In such a case is spoken of clonal hematopoiesis. One in Ten over 70 years of age is affected.

“In the clonal formation of blood it is not a morbid change in the blood system, such as, for example, in the case of blood cancer. However, common age-related diseases such as hardening of the arteries – more seem to be influenced by clonal hematopoiesis negatively,“ says Prof. Rieger.

Clonal hematopoiesis was significantly more likely to
The clonal formation of blood is currently a popular topic of medical research.

The Frankfurt scientists could now demonstrate for the first Time, that chronic heart failure is influenced by the infarct by clonal hematopoiesis significantly.

“We have studied 200 patients with chronic congestive heart failure in our hospital and found that clonal hematopoiesis occurred significantly more frequently than in healthy people of the same age,” explains prof Andreas Zeiher, Director of the Department of cardiology of the University hospital of Frankfurt and one of the initiators of the study.

The patients did not differ in the case of the classical risk factors for heart failure.

They had, however, genetic changes in the typical for the clonal formation of blood responsible genes, DNMT3A or TET2 in their blood cells, they showed a significantly poorer course of illness, were more likely to be hospitalized and died earlier than patients without these mutations.

Search for the causes for the poorer course of the disease

The genetic changes that lead to the so-called clonal hematopoiesis, can be from a normal blood sample is shown.

In the future, this Information could contribute significantly to improved precision medicine in patients with heart failure.

“Now it is high pressure to find out what effect these genetic changes in the blood cells of the heart and what are the causes for the poorer course of the disease,” says Prof. Stefanie Dimmeler, a co-author of the study.

“That will show you ways to treat patients with these genetic changes in the targeted individual, the negative consequences of early prevention.” (ad)