A promising treatment being developed for depressed ejection fraction is gene therapy. Researchers continue to explore the nature of stem cells in the treatment of many diseases. Stem cells are immature cells, meaning they have the ability to develop into a variety of mature cells, such as red or white blood cells, platelets, heart muscle cells, brain cells, etc. For example, recent studies have reported encouraging findings after transplanting stem cells taken from patients' own bone marrow into heart muscle following a heart attack.
For heart failure patients, bone marrow cells have been injected into the heart's left ventricle. Other studies have shown promising results in the use of muscle cells taken from other parts of the body (e.g., thigh) and injecting them into damaged areas of the heart. It is believed that such skeletal muscle helps to restore the contractile properties of affected heart muscle, thus improving ejection fraction. However, these treatments are still experimental and have not been approved by the FDA.