Question:

My son had viral endocarditis with a noncompacted left ventricle.  Is he a candidate for stem cell clinical trials?

My son recently had an episode of chest pain and SOB. He was eventually intubated and spent 10 days in ICU. They said it was apparently a viral endocarditis. An MRI revealed a noncompacted left ventricle. His current ejection fraction is 20%, but he is not short of breath or having chest pain. He is getting an implanted defibrillator next week. They tell him he will eventually need a heart transplant. I would like to know if he may be a candidate for the stem cell clinical trials.

Submitted by Ken from Baton Rouge, Louisiana on 07/16/2014

At present, stem cells are not being used for treatment of left ventricle noncompaction. I agree with the recommendation he has received for a defibrillator. It is possible that at some point in the future, either mechanical circulatory support (LVAD) or cardiac transplantation may be indicated. It will be beneficial to his future to be managed by cardiologists who have substantial experience in the treatment of advanced heart failure.