Growing arteries could lead to 'biological bypass'

In the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Yale School of Medicine researchers say they've discovered a way to grow coronary arteries that could eventually lead to a non-invasive option for conducting heart bypasses. Blood and oxygen are restricted from the heart when arteries become clogged with plaque. If the condition is severe enough, surgeons have to bypass the blocked arteries in an invasive surgery.

There have been previous attempts to use growth factors to grow arteries, but no one has been successful using that method. "Instead of using growth factors, we stopped the inhibitor mechanism by using a drug that targets a particular enzyme called P13-kinase inhibitor," says lead author of the study Michael Simons, M.D., chief of the Section of Cardiology at Yale School of Medicine. He added that the discovery of this inhibition pathway could lead to a new class of drugs to treat heart disease through non-invasive measures. "Successfully growing new arteries could provide a biological option for patients facing bypass surgery," the Yale researcher notes.

- here's the report for more