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Am J Cardiol. 1986 Apr 1;57(10):816-20.

Extent of myocardial fibrosis and cellular hypertrophy in dilated cardiomyopathy.


The distribution of fibrosis and cellular hypertrophy was studied in the hearts of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DC). Transmural sections were removed from the left and right ventricular free walls and the ventricular septum of 9 patients with heart failure and 6 control subjects. These sections were stained with hematoxylin-eosin (to determine cell size) and trichrome (to determine percent fibrosis). The sections were separated into equal areas from epicardium to endocardium in the free walls and right to left across the septum. Percent fibrosis was greater in patients with DC (20 +/- 4%) than control subjects (4 +/- 1%, p = 0.0001). A pattern of increasing fibrosis in the left ventricular free wall from epicardium (14 +/- 6%) to endocardium (22 +/- 9%, p less than 0.05) was documented. Fibrosis was greater on the left (21 +/- 12%) than the right (15 +/- 6%, p less than 0.05) side of the septum. No pattern was evident in the right ventricular free wall or in the control group. Myocardial cell diameter was greater in the heart failure group (22 +/- 5 micron) than the control group (17 +/- 2 micron, p less than 0.05), but no pattern of hypertrophy across the walls was seen. The increased fibrosis, the pattern of fibrosis and the increased cell diameter in patients with DC help to characterize DC.

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