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Endomyocardial fibrosis in Egypt: an illustrated review.
  1. M. A. Rashwan,
  2. M. Ayman,
  3. S. Ashour,
  4. M. M. Hassanin,
  5. A. A. Zeina
  1. Cardiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Alexandria, Egypt.


    The detailed features of right sided endomyocardial fibrosis are described in 15 out of 10,000 consecutive patients who all had infection with Schistosoma mansoni and came from rural Egypt. Laboratory investigations, 12 lead electrocardiography, chest radiography, and Doppler echocardiography were performed in all patients. Cardiac catheterisation and angiography were performed in eight. Endomyocardial biopsy specimens were obtained from the right ventricles of two patients and pericardial biopsy specimens from two. Pericardiocentesis was performed in all patients. All patients were infected with S mansoni and had schistosomal hepatic fibrosis and ascites. Eleven had splenomegaly. All patients had raised cervical venous pressure with prominent Y descent and atrial fibrillation. Eosinophilia was notably absent. Echocardiography showed apical fibrosis in the right ventricle, obliteration of the ventricle, and moderate to massive exudative pericardial effusion in all patients. Calcification and fibrosis extended into the right ventricular outflow tracts in two patients. Huge right atrial thrombi occurred in five patients. Tricuspid regurgitation (grades I-II) was detected in 11 patients by Doppler ultrasonography. Haemodynamic and angiographic data confirmed the pure right sided restrictive pathophysiology. Pericardial biopsy specimens showed perivascular inflammatory infiltrates in two patients and a schistosomal granuloma in one. Endocardial biopsy specimens showed dense fibrosis with many fibroblasts. Endomyocardial fibrosis in Egypt is unique in several aspects. It always affected only the right side of the heart. Calcification and fibrosis extended to the right ventricular outflow tract. Pericardial inflammatory reaction was present. The relation to schistosomiasis and the link to periportal hepatic fibrosis in these patients is intriguing.

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