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Cardiovascular Issues and PEMF Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Fields Therapy

Extracorporeal pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) has been shown the ability to improve regeneration in various ischemic episodes. Here, we examined whether PEMF therapy facilitate cardiac recovery in rat myocardial infarction (MI), and the cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying PEMF-related therapy was further investigated. The MI rats were exposed to active PEMF for 4 cycles per day (8 minutes/cycle, 30 ± 3 Hz, 5 mT) after MI induction. The data demonstrated that PEMF treatment significantly inhibited cardiac apoptosis and improved cardiac systolic function. Moreover, PEMF treatment increased capillary density, the levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hypoxic inducible factor-1α in infarct border zone. Furthermore, the number and function of circulating endothelial progenitor cells were advanced in PEMF treating rats. In vitro, PEMF induced the degree of human umbilical venous endothelial cells tubulization and increased soluble pro-angiogenic factor secretion (VEGF and nitric oxide). In conclusion, PEMF therapy preserves cardiac systolic function, inhibits apoptosis and trigger postnatal neovascularization in ischemic myocardium.


Coronary artery disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in modern society. Massive loss of cardiac muscle after several ischemic episodes lead to compromised cardiac function, remodeling and low quality life of patients. A growing body of evidence in experimental models of cardiac injury suggests that early re-establishment of blood perfusion to the injured myocardium would restrict infarct expansion, prevent cardiac remodeling and maintain cardiac function. Although several strategies for therapeutic angiogenesis including the delivery of growth factors, gene therapy and stem cell implantation have been investigated, unsolvable theoretical limitations are still remaining. For instance, the limited survival of implanted stem cell, uncontrolled angiogenesis and others. Therefore, a safe, effective and non-invasive treatment for myocardial ischemia may be an ideal approach.

The therapeutic efficacy of various forms of electromagnetic stimulations, including capacitative coupling, direct current, combined magnetic fields, and pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF), have been intensely investigated. Among them, extracorporeal PEMF is the most widely tested techniques in the topic of osteanagenesis, skin rapture healing and neuronal regeneration. Recently, several study also indicated that PEMF exhibited the capability to stimulate angiogenesis and endothelial proliferation, however the detailed mechanism remains modest understood.

In the present study, we investigated whether extracorporeal PEMF therapy was able to rescue ischemic myocardium through inhibiting cardiac apoptosis as well as promoting postnatal neovascularization in a rat model of myocardial infarction (MI).


  1. Andrey, S. N., Markov, M. S., & Yevgeniy, G. K. (1993) This study investigated the effects of PEMF therapy on blood flow and microcirculation. The results suggested that PEMF may improve blood flow and capillary function, which could potentially benefit cardiovascular health.

  2. Gmitrov, J., & Ohkubo, C. (2002) This study examined the effects of PEMF on blood pressure regulation in rats. The authors found that PEMF exposure could normalize blood pressure, suggesting that it might have potential applications in the management of hypertension.

  3. Vincenzi, F., Ravani, A., Pasquini, S., Merighi, S., Gessi, S., Setti, S., Cadossi, M., & Borea, P. A. (2013) This study investigated the effects of PEMF on the production of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The authors found that PEMF modulated the production of specific cytokines, suggesting that PEMF therapy might have immunomodulatory properties that could potentially benefit cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation.

  4. Ganesan, K., Gengadharan, A. C., Balachandran, C., Manohar, B. M., & Puvanakrishnan, R. (2004) This study examined the anti-inflammatory effects of PEMF in a rat model of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The results demonstrated that PEMF treatment reduced lung inflammation and improved lung function. While not directly focused on cardiovascular health, the anti-inflammatory effects of PEMF could potentially be beneficial for cardiovascular conditions.