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J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2003;41(7):981-6.

Crystal methamphetamine-associated cardiomyopathy: tip of the iceberg?

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1
Department of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. mevanwijetunga@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Crystal methamphetamine has become a drug of widespread use. Previous reports describe myocardial infarction, pulmonary edema, and aortic dissection related to methamphetamine use. Cardiomyopathy due to methamphetamine exposure has been rarely described.

METHODS:

We identified 1640 patients admitted in a 4-yr period with a primary or secondary diagnosis of cardiomyopathy. We excluded patients with known cause of cardiomyopathy other than substance abuse. We found 120 patients had a diagnosis of substance abuse, including 21 patients with methamphetamine use. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of these 21 crystal methamphetamine users.

RESULTS:

Nineteen (84%) underwent echocardiography with consistent findings of dilated cardiomyopathy and global ventricular dysfunction. Of five who had a nuclear myocardial perfusion study, none had evidence of ischemia or infarct. Of six who underwent cardiac catheterization, only one had evidence of coronary stenosis.

CONCLUSION:

Methamphetamine use appears to produce cardiomyopathy in some users. The pathogenesis is probably similar to that of cocaine and catecholamine-induced cardiomyopathy. Cellular, animal, and clinical data support the link between methamphetamine exposure and myocardial pathology.

PMID:
14705845
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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