Assessment of right ventricular function and interstitial fibrosis in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy: Hemodynamic correlates and prognostic value

Luigi La Vecchia, Francesco Bedogni, Antonio Castellani, Manuela Martini, Mariemma Paccanaro, Maurizio Sartori, Loredana Bozzola, Pierantonio Bevilacqua, Mario Vincenzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. Right ventricular (RV) function and morphometric quantitation of interstitial fibrosis in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDC) have not been the subject of specifically designed clinical observations. In particular, their role in routine assessment and prognostic evaluation of patients (pts) with IDC remains to be settled. METHODS. Eighty- one consecutive IDC patients (63 M, 18 F; mean age 52 ± 11 yrs) with left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction (angiographic ejection fraction - EF - <55%), normal coronary arteries and no histologic evidence of myocarditis were studied. Cardiac catheterization and endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) were routinely performed in all cases. RV volumes and EF were obtained by angiography according to Ferlinz' method and interstitial fibrosis was quantitated by computer-assisted morphometric analysis. These data were analyzed in order to study correlations with hemodynamic parameters and to assess their prognostic value in a long-term follow-up. RESULTS. In the study population, right ventricular EF was significantly lower than in normal controls (35 ± 11% vs 53 ± 6%; p <0.0001) and showed a significant positive correlation with LV EF (r = 0.54; p <0.0001), and a weak but significant negative correlation with fibrosis (r =-0.29; p = 0.03), RV volumes, but not EF, were significantly related to mean pulmonary pressure. At multivariate analysis, RV end-diastolic volume (EDV) and EF were the two independent predictors of severe heart failure (NYHA class III-IV). After a mean follow-up of 64 ± 36 months, 20 pts died and 9 had heart transplantation, for a 63% transplant-free survival rate (TFS). Multivariate analysis identified three independent predictors of TFS: LV stroke work index (p <0.001), RV stroke work index (p = 0.02) and RV EDV (p = 0.03), Fibrosis was predictive of survival only in the subgroup with LV EF <20%. CONCLUSIONS. Assessment of RV function provides useful information in the evaluation of hemodynamic profile and prognosis of pts with IDC. Quantitation of interstitial fibrosis by morphometry provides little additional data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-523
Number of pages11
JournalGiornale Italiano di Cardiologia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1998


  • Endomyocardial biopsy
  • Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of right ventricular function and interstitial fibrosis in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy: Hemodynamic correlates and prognostic value'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this