Author + information
- Received November 12, 1993
- Revision received January 17, 1995
- Accepted January 26, 1995
- Published online June 1, 1995.
- ↵*Address for correspondence:Dr. Kouji Chida, Division of Cardiology, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital, 35-2 Sakae-cho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173, Japan.
Objectives. We sought to clarify the clinicopathologic characteristics of insidious or healed myocarditis in the elderly.
Background. Myocarditis is the cause of unexplained congestive heart failure and dilated cardiomyopathy. However, acute myocarditis of the Fiedler type is rare, and the incidence and implication of insidious or healed myocarditis in the elderly are not yet known.
Methods. In an autopsy study of 3,000 patients aged ⩾60 years, there were 12 (0.4%) with insidious or healed myocarditis, showing extensive and circumferential fibrosis and scattered lymphocytic infiltration of both ventricular walls without acute necrosis of the myocardial fibers.
Results. Unexplained congestive heart failure was found in seven cases. In all cases, electrocardiography had demonstrated upward elevation of the ST segment and inverted T waves for durations ranging from 1 month to 12.7 years (mean 5.7 years). Mean (± SD) heart weight was 338 ± 81 g (range 220 to 470). In nine cases, fibrous lesions, which were scattered but extensive and circumferential, were located in the subepicardial and middle layers of the left ventricle. In the remaining three cases, the fibrous lesions were located predominantly in the subepicardial and middle layers, but the subendocardial layer was also locally involved. Fibrous lesions of the right ventricle were predominant in the subepicardial layer and involved the subendocardial layer in four cases. Scattered lymphocytic infiltration was found in the fibrous lesions.
Conclusions. In more than half of the aged cases with insidious or healed myocarditis, unexplained congestive heart failure was also present. Fibrous lesions due to myocarditis were located predominantly in the subepicardial and middle layers and led to persistent upward elevation of the ST segment and inverted T waves.
- Received November 12, 1993.
- Revision received January 17, 1995.
- Accepted January 26, 1995.
- American College of Cardiology