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Long term follow up of children with myocarditis treated by immunosuppression and of children with dilated cardiomyopathy
  1. M Giulia Gagliardi1,
  2. M Bevilacqua1,
  3. C Bassano6,
  4. B Leonardi1,
  5. R Boldrini2,
  6. F Diomedi Camassei2,
  7. A Fierabracci4,
  8. A G Ugazio3,
  9. G F Bottazzo5
  1. 1Departments of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Scientific Institute, IRCCS, Rome, Italy
  2. 2Department of Pathology, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù
  3. 3Department of Paediatrics, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù
  4. 4Laboratory of Autoimmunity, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù
  5. 5Scientific Directorate, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù
  6. 6Department of Cardiac Surgery, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Maria G Gagliardi
    Dipartimento Medico-Chirurgico di Cardiologia, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, IRCCS, Piazza S Onofrio 4, 00165 Rome, Italy;


Objective: To describe the treatment and long term outcome after immunosuppressive treatment of children with myocarditis.

Methods and results: 114 patients with newly diagnosed dilated cardiomyopathy were divided into three groups, according to the histological pattern: group A, acute myocarditis; group B, borderline myocarditis; and group C, non-inflammatory cardiomyopathy. Groups A and B were treated with cyclosporine and prednisone in addition to conventional treatment. Survivors of the whole cohort were analysed for 13 year transplant-free survival and assessed for left ventricular function. Event-free survival at 13 years was 97 (3)% for group A, 70 (8)% for group B, and 32 (7)% for group C (p < 0.0001). It was 96 (4)% at one year and 83 (5)% at 13 years for the cumulated myocarditis group (A and B). Cardiac function recovered completely in 79% of survivors in group A, 64% in group B, and 36% in group C. The rate of complete recovery in the cumulated group (A and B) was 70%.

Conclusions: The high long term survival rate of this cohort of children with myocarditis is probably due to the effect of short term immunosuppression. This result differs from previously published series of conventionally treated children, whose survival probability at one year was about 60%.

  • CHF, congestive heart failure
  • DCM, dilated cardiomyopathy
  • EMB, endomyocardial biopsy
  • LVEDV, left ventricular end diastolic volume indexed to body surface area
  • LVEF, left ventricular ejection fraction
  • myocarditis
  • immunosuppression
  • idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy

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  • Presented in part at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association, Chicago, 17–20 November 2002 and published as an abstract in Circulation2002;;.