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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 26

of 'Alcoholic cardiomyopathy'

Comparison of long-term outcome of alcoholic and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.
Fauchier L, Babuty D, Poret P, Casset-Senon D, Autret ML, Cosnay P, Fauchier JP
Eur Heart J. 2000;21(4):306.
AIMS: The outcome of alcoholic cardiomyopathy is thought to be better than idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy if patients abstain from alcohol. The aim of this study was to compare the long-term clinical outcome of alcoholic and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Of 134 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and normal coronary angiography, 50 had alcoholic cardiomyopathy; they were compared serially to 84 patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. Left ventricular end-diastolic diameter, left ventricular ejection fraction and cardiac index, severity of ventricular arrhythmias, measurement of heart rate variability and results of signal-averaged ECG were similar in both groups. Although alcohol withdrawal was strongly recommended but observed in only 70% of patients with alcoholic cardiomyopathy, both groups had similar outcome in terms of cardiac death after follow-up treatment of 47+/-40 months. Multivariate analysis in the entire cohort demonstrated that increased pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (P=0. 003), alcoholism and lack of abstinence during follow-up (P=0.006) and decreased standard deviation of all normal-to-normal RR intervals (P=0.02) were independent predictors of cardiac death.
CONCLUSION: In contrast with previous studies, patients with alcoholic cardiomyopathy did not have a better outcome than patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. Alcoholism without abstinence was a strong predictor of cardiac death. This suggests that a more aggressive approach to alcohol cessation is needed in these patients.
Service de Cardiologie B et Laboratoire d'électrophysiologie cardiaque, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Trousseau, Tours, France.