Mayo Clinic study to help treat infant heart defects - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Mayo Clinic study to help treat infant heart defects


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Saving the lives of thousands of infants -- that's the goal of a new Mayo Clinic study that involves using stem cells to save a newborn's heart.

Mayo Clinic has gotten federal approval for the clinical study that's the first-of-its kind. They'll be using stem cells from babies' own umbilical cords to strengthen their hearts and extend their lives.

The stem cells support cell growth and development.

Right now about 1,000 babies are born every year in the U.S. with only half of a heart, and there's not much doctors can do besides risky surgeries that usually end in the heart giving out prematurely anyway.

If the umbilical procedure works it could buy more time as scientists scramble for a cure for the congenital defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

Some research suggested that half the children with HLHS don't even make it to their 5th birthday.

Besides changing the lives of those children, Mayo's stem cell study could unlock information for future treatments that would help the 19-thousand children born each year with other heart defects.

The study will begin as soon as Mayo finds 10 eligible candidates.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2001 - 2014 WorldNow and KTTC, a Quincy station.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Jodi Neyens at (507) 280-5104. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at