An echocardiographic study of alcoholic cardiomyopathy after total abstinence

Masani, F.; Kato, H.; Sasagawa, Y.; Izumi, T.; Shibata, A.; Oda, H.; Higuma, N.; Aoki, T.; Yazawa, Y.; Ootsuka, H.

Journal of Cardiology 20(3): 627-634


ISSN/ISBN: 0914-5087
PMID: 2131353
Accession: 039242894

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Left ventricular function of alcoholic cardiomyopathy with congestive heart failure was investigated by echocardiography during total abstinence for six months. In five of 13 cases, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was normalized to 55% or more and left ventricular end-diastolic dimension (LVEDd) was reduced to 5.7 cm or less during the study. In the remaining eight patients, no improvement was observed. In the responsive group, two patients showed an increase of LVEF and a reduction of LVEDd simultaneously, but three showed an earlier change in LVEDd. This normalization of LVEF and LVEDd was recognized from three to 12 weeks after abstinence. No significant differences were detected between the responsive and non-responsive groups concerning their age, daily intake of alcohol and period of drinking, NYHA cardiac functional class, the period of experiencing cardiac symptoms and the cardiothoracic ratio by chest radiography. The ratio of left ventricular radius to wall thickness (R/Th) remained 2.9 or less in all of the responsive group, but seven of eight in the non-responsive group showed 2.9 or more. Left atrial dimension was reduced to the normal range except in one, but its normalization did not correlate with the change of left ventricular function. Consequently, after total abstinence from alcohol intake, both left ventricular end-diastolic dimension and ejection fraction improved rapidly, and their normalization could be highly expected. Echocardiography is very helpful in predicting the effect of total abstinence on left ventricular function in alcoholic cardiomyopathy.