Author + information
- Received November 6, 1989
- Revision received December 28, 1990
- Accepted January 9, 1991
- Published online July 1, 1991.
- ↵*Address for reprints: Richard A. Friedman, Department of Pediatrics, Texas Children's Hospital, 6621 Fannin Street, Houston, Texas 77030.
Previous studies in adults with dilated cardiomyopathy suggest that the presence of arrhythmia, especially ventricular tachycardia, correlates with increased mortality. We performed a retrospective analysis of 63 children with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy to determine the prognostic significance of arrhythmias and other findings with respect to mortality.
The mean age at diagnosis of the cardiomyopathy was 4.96 ± 5.3 years. The overall mortality rate was 16% over a 10 year follow-up period. Persistent congestive heart failure and ST-T wave changes correlated with increased mortality (p < 0.05). No other variables affected outcome.
Arrhythmias were found in 46% of the patients; of the arrhythmias, 48% were atrial arrhythmias. Ventricular tachycardia was present in six patients. Death occurred in 4 (14%) of 29 patients with known arrhythmia; 1 of the 5 died suddenly. The remaining 6 deaths in the series occurred in the 34 patients without a documented arrhythmia.
It is concluded that 1) arrhythmias are frequently seen in children with dilated cardiomyopathy but are not predictive of outcome; 2) sudden death in children with this disease is rare; and 3) persistent congestive heart failure portends a poor prognosis.
- Received November 6, 1989.
- Revision received December 28, 1990.
- Accepted January 9, 1991.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation