Author(s): Fu Y, Azene N, Ehtiati T, Flammang A, Gilson WD,
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Abstract PURPOSE: To assess intrapericardial delivery of microencapsulated, xenogeneic human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) by using x-ray fused with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging (x-ray/MR imaging) guidance as a potential treatment for ischemic cardiovascular disease in an immunocompetent swine model. MATERIALS AND METHODS: All animal experiments were approved by the institutional animal care and use committee. Stem cell microencapsulation was performed by using a modified alginate-poly-l-lysine-alginate encapsulation method to include 10\% (wt/vol) barium sulfate to create barium-alginate microcapsules (BaCaps) that contained hMSCs. With x-ray/MR imaging guidance, eight female pigs (approximately 25 kg) were randomized to receive either BaCaps with hMSCs, empty BaCaps, naked hMSCs, or saline by using a percutaneous subxiphoid approach and were compared with animals that received empty BaCaps (n = 1) or BaCaps with hMSCs (n = 2) by using standard fluoroscopic delivery only. MR images and C-arm computed tomographic (CT) images were acquired before injection and 1 week after delivery. Animals were sacrificed immediately or at 1 week for histopathologic validation. Cardiac function between baseline and 1 week after delivery was evaluated by using a paired Student t test. RESULTS: hMSCs remained highly viable (94.8\% ± 6) 2 days after encapsulation in vitro. With x-ray/MR imaging, successful intrapericardial access and delivery were achieved in all animals. BaCaps were visible fluoroscopically and at C-arm CT immediately and 1 week after delivery. Whereas BaCaps were free floating immediately after delivery, they consolidated into a pseudoepicardial tissue patch at 1 week, with hMSCs remaining highly viable within BaCaps; naked hMSCs were poorly retained. Follow-up imaging 1 week after x-ray/MR imaging-guided intrapericardial delivery showed no evidence of pericardial adhesion and/or effusion or adverse effect on cardiac function. In contradistinction, BaCaps delivery with x-ray fluoroscopy without x-ray/MR imaging (n = 3) resulted in pericardial adhesions and poor hMSC viability after 1 week. CONCLUSION: Intrapericardial delivery of BaCaps with hMSCs leads to high cell retention and survival. With x-ray/MR imaging guidance, intrapericardial delivery can be performed safely in the absence of preexisting pericardial effusion to provide a novel route for cardiac cellular regenerative therapy.
This article was published in Radiology
and referenced in Journal of Vascular Medicine & Surgery