Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Long-term follow up of patients with dilated heart muscle disease treated with human leucocytic interferon alpha or thymic hormones initial results.
  1. M. Mirić,
  2. J. Vasiljević,
  3. M. Bojić,
  4. Z. Popović,
  5. N. Keserović,
  6. M. Pesić
  1. Cardiology Department, Cardiovascular Institute, Beograd, Yugoslavia.


    OBJECTIVE: To determine whether giving interferon-alpha or thymomodulin in addition to conventional treatment improves cardiac function in patients with idiopathic myocarditis and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. DESIGN: Single-centre, randomised, open label, parallel group comparison of conventional treatment plus interferon-alpha, conventional treatment plus thymomodulin, and conventional treatment alone. PATIENTS: 38 patients aged 19-54 years (23 men) with biopsy-proven myocarditis or dilated cardiomyopathy. 12 were treated with conventional treatment alone, 13 were treated with interferon-alpha and conventional treatment, and 13 with thymomodulin and conventional treatment. SETTING: Tertiary cardiac referral centre. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Clinical evaluation, echocardiography, and Holter monitoring at baseline, 6 months, and 1 and 2 years. Radionuclide ventriculography at rest and during exercise after 2 years. Endomyocardial biopsy at baseline and after a year if the initial diagnosis was myocarditis. RESULTS: Left ventricular ejection fraction was improved in 21 (81%) of 26 patients after interferon-alpha or thymomodulin administration and in 8 (66%) of 12 conventionally treated patients (P < 0.05) at 2 year follow up. The maximum exercise time was significantly longer at 2-year follow up in patients treated with immunomodulators (mean (SEM) 5.1 (0.6) minutes for interferon-alpha and 5.0 (0.4) minutes for thymomodulin) than in conventionally treated patients (3.3 (0.4) minutes). Left ventricular ejection fraction during exercise (assessed by radionuclide ventriculography) improved in 9 of 12 patients treated with interferon-alpha, 10 of 12 patients treated with thymomodulin, and 3 of 9 conventionally treated patients at 2 year follow up. The electrocardiogram was normal in 21 (88%) of 24 patients after interferon-alpha or thymomodulin treatment and 2 (22%) of 9 conventionally treated patients. At 2 year follow up, 19 (73%) of 26 patients treated with immunomodulators and 4 (25%) of 12 conventionally treated patients had improved their functional class. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that treatment of idiopathic myocarditis and/or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy with interferon-alpha or thymomodulin induces an earlier and significantly superior clinical improvement than conventional treatment alone.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.