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Forum Name: Cardiomyopathy

Question: Post Viral DCM


 ananta - Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:16 pm

Dear Doctor! I am concerned with the 6 yrs cousin who admitted first time 10 days before.His summary are LVEF:20-25% Dilated LV= 4.7/4.3 cm Chest:B/L creps + CVS: S1S2 PSM + P/A: Soft, nonlends no organomeya, pulses alternan 116 Bpm but it was 200 Bpm 3 days before, BP 94/60,Spo2 off o2 91%, Ecg= atrial rhythm and his doctor didnt said more than Post Viral DCM. I would like to know wht is Post vIral means. Will he be healed with medication? how long will it take to recover? or do we have to transplant. Is this a non curable disease? can he live like a normal life? I appreciate your time. -> Ananta
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:16 am

User avatar Hi Ananta,

Viruses are a well known cause of cardiomyopathy, particularly dilated cardiomyopathy. There are several viruses that can cause an acute infection of the heart. In these cases, the patient often presents very ill fairly quickly. In other situations, the damage is not directly from the virus, per se. In these cases, the acute infection passes and the damage occurs to the heart after the infection. Often, this happens because the body forms an antibody or some other immune response to fight off the infection that, unfortunately, also attacks the heart.

Post viral dilated cardiomyopathy is probably one of the most, if not the most, common cause of dilated cardiomyopathy in children. The outcomes of these cases are very, very varied. Some cases will recover completely with very little treatment. At the other end of the spectrum, some children go on to need heart transplants. Many children will need medications to help relieve the heart of some of the work it is doing. Medications to help the heart squeeze stronger or medicines to help relieve the pressure the heart is beating against can help reduce the work of the heart. In mild cases, oral medicines may be enough. In other cases, IV medicines may be needed.

My best advise is to stay in close contact with the cardiologists and doctors involved in your cousins care to see how his heart is doing. A recent study done in 2006 showed that of 184 children with dilated cardiomyopathy of uncertain etiology (most supsected to be viral) 72% at one year and 63% at five years were alive and without transplant. Keep in mind that some of these cases may not have been from a viral cause so the correlation is not perfect but overall I think the study shows that while there is a chance of needing heart transplant, many of these children recover without needing one.

Best wishes.

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