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Dilated cardiomyopathy: immunosuppressive treatment and long term outcome

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Patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) have a large, poorly contractile, left ventricle. The causes of DCM are unknown but viral infection and/or autoimmunity are the favourite suggestions. Endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) studies have suggested two types of DCM; those with mononuclear infiltration of the myocardium (myocarditis) and those with only fibrosis (cardiomyopathy). With conventional non-immunosuppressive, treatment the outlook for these children has been poor with reported survival rates of 40–75% at 1 year and 37–47% at …

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