Immunosuppressive therapy in patients with congestive cardiomyopathy and myocardial uptake of gallium-67.
Thirty-nine patients with idiopathic congestive cardiomyopathy underwent gallium-67 scintigraphy. Twenty had no evidence of myocardial uptake (group I) and 19 had demonstrable myocardial gallium-67 activity (group II). There was no significant difference in age, sex, duration of symptoms, antecedent viral illness, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure, pulmonary artery systolic pressure, or ejection fraction between the two groups. Fifteen patients in group II were treated with prednisone and azathioprine for a minimum of 8 months. Nine of 15 patients were clinically unchanged and gallium-67 scans remained positive (group IIa). Six patients had significant improvement and resolution of myocardial gallium-67 uptake (group IIb). The mean change in ejection fraction was +0.2% in group I, -4.8% in Group IIa, and +13.8% in group IIb. There were five deaths in group I (25% mortality), three in group IIa (33% mortality), and no deaths in group IIb. The only significant difference between patients in group IIa and those in group IIb was a greater left ventricular posterior wall thickness in group IIa patients. Twenty control patients without cardiac disease had negative gallium-67 scans. We conclude that gallium-67 myocardial scintigraphy may be a useful test for predicting the response to prednisone and azathioprine therapy.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association