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Panminerva Medica 2005 September;47(3):157-67

language: English

Review of dilated cardiomyopathies. Dilated cardiomyopathies and altered prothrombotic state A point of view of the literature

Mazzone M., La Sala M., Portale G., Ursella S., Forte P., Carbone L., Testa A.,Pignataro G., Covino M., Gentiloni Silveri N.

Emergency Medicine Unit Department of Emergency and Admission Sacro Cuore Catholic University A. Gemelli Polyclinic, Rome, Italy


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Heart failure is an enormously important clinical problem that, if not faced, may overwhelm health care resources. Primary and secondary cardiomyopathies cause the majority of cases of clinical heart failure, which is thus better approached from the utility point of view of myocardial failure. Furthermore, the risk of thromboembolic complications presenting in such disease may be higher than in ischemic cardiomyopathy. Intracardiac thrombi and mural endocardial plaques (from the organization of thrombi) are present at necropsy in more than 50% of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Several studies have shown that systemic and pulmonary emboli are more frequent in patients with ventricular thrombi or plaques. Dilated cardiomyopathy has been associated with left ventricular thrombosis which leads to substantial morbidity and mortality as a site for peripheral emboli. There are some studies on patients with dilated cardiomyopathy showing altered hemostasis and platelet behavior despite sinus rhythm. Platelet activation, thrombin activation and fibrinolytic activity are increased in patients with DCM compared to normal subjects. However, these markers reflecting coagulation activation in patients with left ventricle thrombus are comparable to those in patients without thrombus in the left ventricle. The pathophysiology and clinical issues concerning the susceptibility to develop left ventricular (LV) thrombosis and its complications like cerebrovascular disease in patients with DCM are summarized and the most recent articles present in the medical literature are reviewed.

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