Genetic determinants of responsiveness to mesenchymal stem cell injections in non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy

Angela C. Rieger, Robert J. Myerburg, Victoria Florea, Bryon A. Tompkins, Makoto Natsumeda, Courtney Premer, Aisha Khan, Ivonne H. Schulman, Mayra Vidro-Casiano, Darcy L. DiFede, Alan W. Heldman, Raul Mitrani, Joshua M. Hare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (NIDCM) responds variably to intramyocardial injection of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). We hypothesized that NIDCM genotype may influence responsiveness to MSC therapy and performed genotyping on all patients in the POSEIDON-DCM trial. Methods: POSEIDON-DCM patients (n = 34) underwent genetic sequence analysis and deletion/duplication testing. The results were classified as positive for pathological variants (PV+; n = 8), negative for any variants (V−; n = 6), or as variants of uncertain significance (VUS; n = 20). All outcomes of therapy were analysed for each category of genetic results. Findings: The 3 groups were indistinguishable at baseline with regard to ejection fraction (EF), demographics, medication use, or functional parameters. V− patients had an increase in EF at 12 months: +13.6% (IQR = +7.8%; +20.5%; p = 0.002), compared with VUS (+6.5%; IQR = +0.9%, +11.1%; p = 0.005) and PV+(−5.9%; IQR = −12.7%, +1.0; p = 0.2; p = 0.01 between groups). Six-minute walk distance improved in V- patients, but not in VUS and PV+. V− patients improved MLHFQ, compared to the other 2 groups, which did not improve over time. EPC[sbnd]CFUs increased by 9.7 ± 1.9 in V− (p = 0.009) compared to VUS and PV+ patients. V− patients had one-year survival (100%) compared with VUS (85%) and PV+ (40%; p = 0.015 log-rank). Similarly, MACE rates were lower in V− (0%) than PV+ (61.9%) or VUS (42.2%; p = 0.021 log-rank). Interpretation: Our findings support the concept that the genetic profile of NIDCM patients plays a role in responsiveness to MSC therapy, with V− patients more likely to benefit and the converse for PV+. This observation emphasizes the need for further genetic studies, because of important implications for the management of NIDCM syndromes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-385
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Positive for pathologic/likely pathologic variant
  • Precision medicine
  • Variants of uncertain significance


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