In what they hail as a medical breakthrough, researchers say a single injection using stem cells taken from the bone marrow of a healthy young adult could prevent the occurrence of heart failure.

The treatment, called Revascor, has been given approval for its first European trial and may be available to patients within five years.

We are excited to be pioneering a novel and minimally invasive clinical approach that has the potential to greatly improve the quality of life for patients suffering acute heart attacks, Professor Eric Duckers, the lead investigator from Erasmus University Hospital in The Netherlands, told The Daily Telegraph.

Previous studies have shown that the new procedure can improve heart function by improving the blood flow to damaged tissue and limiting scarring.

It has been reported that one stem cell donation could provide millions of cells known as MPCs which could rejuvenate the heart muscles and help in reinforcing the heart.

The Daily Mail reported that the new procedure is unique in the world of stem-cell treatment for heart disease because the cells used do not need to be taken from the patient after their heart attack, but are harvested from adult donors in advance and can be used 'off the shelf'.