Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study for Immunosuppressive Treatment of Inflammatory Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Two-Year Follow-Up Results
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Background—Previous studies have shown disappointing results for immunosuppressive treatment in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. Therefore, we studied the effectiveness of such therapy in patients with HLA upregulation on biopsy.
Methods and Results—Of 202 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, 84 patients with increased HLA expression were randomized to receive either immunosuppression or placebo for 3 months; they were then followed for 2 years. After 2 years, there were no significant differences in the primary end point (a composite of death, heart transplantation, and hospital readmission) between the 2 study groups (22.8% for the immunosuppression group and 20.5% for the placebo). The secondary efficacy end point included changes in ejection fraction, end-diastolic diameter, end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume and NYHA class; left ventricular ejection fraction increased significantly in the immunosuppression group compared with the placebo group (95% CI, 4.20 to 13.12; P<0.001) after 3 months of follow-up. The early favorable effects of immunosuppressive therapy on left ventricular volume, left ventricular diastolic dimension, and New York Heart Association class were also present. This improvement was maintained in the immunosuppression group at 2 years (ejection fraction: 95% CI, 6.94 to 19.04; P<0.001). In addition, on the basis of the protocol-specified definition of improvement, 71.8% patients in the immunosuppression group versus 20.9% patients in the placebo group met the criteria of improvement after 3 months (P<0.001). At the end of the follow-up period, 71.4% patients from the immunosuppression group versus 30.8% patients from the placebo group were improved (P=0.001).
Conclusions—These data demonstrate a long-term benefit of immunosuppressive therapy in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and HLA upregulation on biopsy specimens. Thus, restoration of immunosuppressive therapy for such patients should be considered.
- Received January 31, 2001.
- Revision received March 28, 2001.
- Accepted April 10, 2001.
- Copyright © 2001 by American Heart Association