Currently the problem of left ventricular remodelling in the early and late stages after myocardial infarction are under intense study. Studies of the role of remodelling of the left ventricle in patients with long-term arterial hypertension have been recently initiated. The purpose of this investigation was to study whether left ventricular remodelling is common for different primary myocardial disorders. The study population consisted of 212 patients with primary myocardial lesions (121 with dilated cardiomyopathy, 45 with chronic myocarditis and 46 with prolonged damage of the myocardium with alcohol; 196 male and 16 female, mean age 42.6±11.3 years) and 32 age matched normal subjects (24 male and eight female). Cardiac catheterization for ventriculography and coronary angiography was performed in all subjects for detection of left ventricular haemodynamics, including chamber volume and shape at end-systole and end-diastole. Worsening of heart failure was associated with a progressive enlargement of the left ventricle, with increases in end-systolic left ventricular wall stress, that lead to increases in left ventricular muscle mass, alteration of left ventricular geometry from a more ellipsoid to a more spherical shape and a progressive decrease of relative wall thickness index that reflects inadequate enlargement of the ventricular chamber in comparison with the increase in muscle mass. This process of left ventricular remodelling was common to all the primary myocardial disorders studied. Thus, regardless of the different etiological nature, most primary myocardial disorders show a similar left ventricular remodelling process suggesting common mechanisms for the development of chronic heart failure.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
V.G.F. is supported by a research fellowship from the European Society of Cardiology.
- Chronic myocarditis
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Heart failure
- Ventricular remodelling