US scientists have created a therapy which can help heart muscle self-repair after a heart attack.
The team, at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas, recreated in pigs what happens in a patient after a heart attack and assessed the effect of a gene therapy on recovery.
The therapy targets a system in the body - known as the Hippo signalling pathway - which controls organ size in animals.
The findings in Science Translational Medicine, revealed that after the treatment, pigs had improved heart function, had less scarring and new blood vessels had been formed.
“This is a potentially transformational strategy to treat human heart failure. It taps into the healing capacity of the heart, promoting heart muscle self-repair and improved function, which can make a substantial difference in the lives of those who suffer a heart attack,” said leading author of the study, James Martin.