The myocardial fibrosis in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. The application of image analysis in the myocardial biopsies.
<P>BACKGROUND: The aim of our study is to investigate whether myocardial fibrosis measured by image analysis may be considered as an important and accurate index of dilated cardiomyopathy and its prognosis. METHODS: The study group consisted of 24 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, which was diagnosed by echocardiography, radionuclide ventriculography, cardiac catheterization, and left ventricular endomyocardial biopsy. The patients' overall disability was conventionally expressed with the criteria for functional capacity. Using image analysis, the percentage of fibrosis in a total of 35 myocardial biopsies was accurately measured, followed by a study comparing the percentage of myocardial fibrosis and the clinical parameters (left ventricular ejection fraction and overall functional capacity), showing the degree of each patient's heart failure. RESULTS: A correlation was found among fibrosis, left ventricular ejection fraction, and overall functional capacity. The cases with small values of fibrosis (< 10%) have big values of ejection fraction and belong to Class I of overall functional capacity. The cases with big values of fibrosis (> 10%) belong to Classes III and IV of overall functional capacity and have small values of ejection fraction. The results of the comparative study were graphically presented and considered significant. CONCLUSION: Myocardial fibrosis measured by image analysis might be considered an important prognostic index of dilated cardiomyopathy.</P>
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