I have a question concerning the angiogenesis procedure that may be FDA approved in 2009. Might I possibly be a candidate? I am 76 years old with a 20-year history of heart problems. My electrophysiologist said I was a prime candidate for a heart transplant, but I would never move up the list because of my age. I still work full-time as a carpenter for the local school district. Thank you for your articles of hope for those of us who wonder.
I am glad my articles are of interest to you. There is much research going on in the field of angiogenesis—that is, the creation of new blood vessels in the body. The goal of angiogenesis is to improve blood flow to areas of the body supplied by partially or totally blocked arteries. Naturally, this includes the heart, in patients with coronary artery disease, and peripheral muscles (such as the legs), in patients with peripheral vascular disease. Approaches include injecting genes and altered cells that can encourage new blood vessel growth. Ask your doctor to investigate the many trials that are going on in these areas to see if you might be a candidate to participate in one of them.
Advances in treating heart failure have also improved in recent years. While you may not be a candidate for a heart transplant at your age, there are other options that can be explored. Above all, do not give up hope, and be sure to keep on working. New procedures are being developed all the time. In fact, we have explored a procedure called spinal cord stimulation that we have shown to improve heart failure in dogs (Heart Rhythm 2008; 5:S53) and hope to test in humans in the coming year.