A histopathological index of contractility failure, which was reported to be accurate for the diagnosis of idiopathic dilated or congestive cardiomyopathy in Japan, was used to assess endomyocardial biopsy specimens from 41 Dutch patients with suspected dilated cardiomyopathy. The calculated index had a sensitivity of 62.5% and a specificity of 68% for idiopathic dilated or congestive cardiomyopathy. These disappointing results indicate that the histopathological index of contractility failure does not reliably distinguish between idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and other diseases that cause congestive heart failure.
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