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Am J Cardiol. 1988 Oct 1;62(10 Pt 1):789-93.

Frequency of myocarditis, left ventricular dysfunction and ventricular tachycardia in the acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

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Pathologic Anatomy Department, Clinical Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, MD 20892.


To evaluate possible relations between clinical and histopathologic cardiac findings in patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), 58 consecutively autopsied AIDS patients were reviewed retrospectively. Twenty-six (45%) had histopathologic myocarditis. Fifteen of these 26 (58%) had greater than or equal to 1 clinical cardiac abnormalities: 6 had congestive heart failure or left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, or both, 4 had ventricular tachycardia (VT), 10 had electrocardiographic abnormalities and 4 had pericardial abnormalities. Of the 32 patients without myocarditis, 6 (19%) had pericardial or electrocardiographic abnormalities, or both, but none had congestive heart failure, LV dysfunction or VT. Overall, clinical cardiac abnormalities were found in 21 patients (36%). Patients with myocarditis had a significantly higher incidence of clinical cardiac abnormalities than patients without myocarditis (58 vs 19%, p less than 0.01). All patients with congestive heart failure, LV dysfunction or VT had myocarditis. Thus, serious clinical cardiac abnormalities were common in patients with AIDS and were associated with myocarditis.

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