The Italian Multicentric Study: Natural History of Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Dilated cardiomyopathy was defined as a heart muscle disease of unknown cause characterized by left ventricular or biventricular dilatation and impaired systolic function . The natural history of the disease is difficult to ascertain, as asymptomatic ventricular dilatation and dysfunction may be present for long periods. Prognosis of the disease from the onset of symptoms was generally described as poor [2–3]. These retrospective studies usually analysed patients with advanced heart failure, who have been mostly evaluated in a period preceding the widespread use of echocardiography as a diagnostic tool, in tertiary referral centers. Whether earlier diagnosis and careful follow-up would substantially impact on the reportedly dire prognosis was at the moment unclear. These considerations prompted a cooperative effort involving 15 Italian centers in a multicenter Registry, which started in January 1986. The aim of this registry was the prospective study of the natural history of dilated cardiomyopathy, with particular attention to early manifestations of disease.
KeywordsLeft Ventricular Ejection Fraction Dilate Cardiomyopathy Advanced Heart Failure Idiopathic Dilate Cardiomyopathy Progressive Heart Failure
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