Arizona Heart Institute cardiologists have caught the reality television bug.
As part of a convention sponsored by the institute, the public is invited on Tuesday evening to watch, live via satellite, several minimally invasive procedures used to treat heart disease.
During the rest of the weeklong convention, cardiologists from across the country will meet privately to share and discuss the latest in technology to treat heart disease.
One noteworthy presentation will about a new procedure called myoblast transplantation, the brainchild of Arizona Heart Institute cardiologist Dr. Nabil Dib. The procedure is in clinical trials.
Myoblast involves using cells from the thigh muscle to rebuild heart muscles that have been damaged by a heart attack. After a heart attack, the heart cannot repair itself and develops scar tissue.
"By injecting muscle cells from the thigh into the scar tissue, the heart is able to repair itself," Dib said.
The cardiologist said he’s not exactly sure how the cells are able to convert into heart cells. "The American Heart Association calls it science fiction becoming reality," he said.
The Heart Institute has performed myoblast transplantations on 28 patients who will be monitored for two years to determine the long-term outcome, spokeswoman Marisa Maggio-Harelson said.
The institute expects to seek Food and Drug Administration approval for the procedure in about four years.
About 500,000 Americans suffer from congestive heart failure following a heart attack. Sufferers of heart failure cancontact Ann Campbell in the institute’s research department at (602) 604-5212 to determine if they are a candidate to participate in the trials.
More information on myoblast transplantation is available at www.azheart.com.
What: 17th annual Public Forum on Endovascular Inventions
Where: Phoenician Resort Grand Ballroom, 6000 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
When: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday