The Myocarditis Treatment Trial: design, methods and patients enrollment

Eur Heart J. 1995 Dec;16 Suppl O:162-7. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/16.suppl_o.162.


The Myocarditis Treatment Trial was a multicentre clinical trial conducted to determine the efficacy of immunosuppressive therapy for treatment of biopsy-documented myocarditis, and to improve understanding of the immunological mechanisms in the development of myocarditis. Thirty-one centres screened 2305 patients with unexplained heart failure, and 2233 patients underwent an endomyocardial biopsy which provided adequate tissue for diagnosis. Those with a positive biopsy and a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) less than 45% were randomly assigned to receive immunosuppressive therapy plus conventional drug therapy for congestive heart failure (66 patients) or conventional therapy only (45 patients) for 24 weeks. For 28 additional weeks all patients received conventional therapy only. In addition to diagnostic and clinical data, serum and myocardial tissue for immunological marker analysis and histopathologic evaluation were collected at baseline and at 12, 28 and 52 weeks after randomization. The primary analysis of efficacy was designed as a comparison of the mean increase in LVEF at week 28 between treatment limbs. Secondary objectives were to evaluate survival differences, and changes in the histopathology of the disease and immunological markers. Randomized patients were relatively young (mean age, 42.0 years +/- 13.8 standard deviation (sd) and entered the Trial with a mean LVEF percent of 24.3 +/- 10.1 sd) and mean exercise treadmill duration of 9.4 (+/- 5.3 sd) minutes. The incidence of biopsy-documented myocarditis was low (9.6%). The analyses of outcome and immunological data are reported elsewhere.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autoimmune Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / mortality
  • Biopsy
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / drug therapy*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / immunology
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / mortality
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Endocardium / immunology
  • Endocardium / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / immunology
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocarditis / drug therapy*
  • Myocarditis / immunology
  • Myocarditis / mortality
  • Myocardium / immunology
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Stroke Volume / drug effects
  • Survival Rate


  • Immunosuppressive Agents