The use of echocardiography in predicting left ventricle thrombus in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital
Ferreira Dos Santos, Claudia Marisa Goncalves
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Cardiomyopathies and their resultant heart failure (HF) remain a major cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality (Wood and Picard, 2004). Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCMO) is a primary myocardial disease of unknown cause, characterized by left ventricular (LV) or biventricular dilatation and impaired myocardial contractility. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCMO), along with rheumatic heart disease and hypertension (HPT), is one of the leading causes of HF in Africa. In fact, in an epidemiology study of 884 patients in Soweto, IDCMO was the second major cause of HF. Thirty five percent of patients in the study, with HF, had IDCMO (Sliwa, Damasceno, Mayosi, 2005). Methodology: Patients referred to the cardiomyopathy (CMO) clinic at Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital, situated in the echocardiographic lab, were recruited, provided they satisfied the exclusion and inclusion criteria and were enrolled after obtaining voluntary informed consent. From May 2009 to September 2010, 70 patients with IDCMO were recruited for this trial. Patients with DCMO were identified by means of echocardiographic criteria which included a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of less than 45% and an end diastolic dimension (EDD) of greater than of 52 mm (2D in long parasternal axis). Results: In the present study the prevalence of left ventricular (LV) thrombus in patients with IDCMO was 18.6%. When using Univariate logistic regression, the only independent predictors of LV thrombus formation was LVEF and age. However, when multivariate logistic regression analysis was applied to the data, the only predictor with a significant association was age. The reason for this is not clear. It is postulated that perhaps younger patients have differences in the pathophysiology of their disease such as a greater smoldering inflammatory component which may therefore predispose them to thrombus formation. For example the presence of IL-6 may be important in the formation of LV clot in cases of LV dysfunction (Sosin, Bhatia, Davis, Lip, 2003). The association between LVEF and LV thrombus was borderline significant. Conclusion: The prevalence of LV thrombus formation in this cohort of patients with IDCMO was 18.6%. Echocardiographic parameters alone cannot predict which patients are more likely to develop thrombus formation.