A long-term follow-up study of acute viral and idiopathic myocarditis

Jpn Circ J. 1983 Nov;47(11):1304-9. doi: 10.1253/jcj.47.1304.


In order to clarify the prognosis of myocarditis and the relationship between myocarditis and idiopathic cardiomyopathy, 20 patients with myocarditis (one with Coxsackie B; one with rubella and 18 with idiopathic myocarditis) were followed up for a long period using echocardiography and Holter electrocardiographic monitoring. The follow-up period was 49.1 +/- 39.3 months (mean +/- SD). Subjects were classified into the following 4 groups according to their prognoses, left ventricular end-diastolic dimensions (LVDd) and the presence of absence of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias: Group I with a fatal prognosis, Group II with LVDd greater than or equal to 55 mm, Group III with LVDd less than 55 mm but associated with life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias, and Group IV with LVDd less than 55 mm and with no life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Patients of Group I (2 cases) had a marked left ventricular dilatation and a poor left ventricular function just before death. Patients of Group II (5 cases) had left ventricular and left atrial dilatation, and 2 of them had serious ventricular arrhythmias. All 3 patients of Group III had ventricular arrhythmia (ventricular tachycardias, coupled premature ventricular contractions and multifocal premature ventricular contractions, respectively), and 2 of them had asymmetric septal hypertrophy. All 10 patients of Group IV had no residual cardiac abnormalities. In conclusion, 50% of 20 myocarditis patients had residual cardiac abnormalities; 6 patients (2 of Group I and 4 of Group II) were complicated by left ventricular dilatation, simulating dilated cardiomyopathy, and 3 (one of Group II and 2 of Group III) showed asymmetric septal hypertrophy, simulating hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Coxsackievirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Enterovirus B, Human
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocarditis / diagnosis*
  • Prognosis
  • Rubella / diagnosis
  • Virus Diseases / diagnosis*