Prevalence of Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction in Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1: A Systematic Review

J Card Fail. 2020 Oct;26(10):849-856. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2019.07.548. Epub 2019 Aug 12.


Cardiac involvement is recorded in about 80% of patients affected by myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1). The prevalence of cardiac conduction abnormalities and arrhythmias has been well described. Data regarding the prevalence of left ventricle systolic dysfunction (LVSD) and heart failure (HF) are still conflicting. The primary objective of this review was to assess the prevalence of LVSD and HF in DM1. The secondary aim was to examine the association of clinical features with LVSD and to detect predisposing and influencing prognosis factors. A systematic search was developed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials, and Web of Science databases to identify original reports between January 1, 2009, and September 30, 2017, assessing the prevalence of LVSD and HF in populations with DM1. Retrospective and prospective cohort studies and case series describing the prevalence of LVSD, as evaluated by echocardiography, and HF in patients with DM1 were included. Case reports, simple reviews, commentaries and editorials were excluded. Seven studies were identified as eligible, of which 1 was a retrospective population-based cohort study, and 6 were retrospective single-center-based cohort studies. Echocardiographic data concerning LV function were available for 647 of the 876 patients with DM1 who were included in the analysis. The prevalence of LVSD in patients with DM1, defined as LVEF < 55%, was 13.8%, 4.5-fold higher than in general population. Patients with DM1 and LVSD were older, were more likely to be male, had longer baseline atrioventricular and intraventricular conduction-time durations, had higher incidences of atrial arrhythmias, and were more likely to have undergone device implantation. Also, symptomatic HF is more prevalent in patients with DM1 despite their limited levels of physical activity. Further studies are needed to evaluate the prevalence of LVSD and HF in patients with DM1 and to investigate electrocardiographic abnormalities and other clinical features associated with this condition.

Keywords: Myotonic dystrophy type 1; heart failure; left ventricle systolic dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Failure* / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myotonic Dystrophy* / complications
  • Myotonic Dystrophy* / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left* / epidemiology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left* / etiology