Published: 01 July, 2019 | Volume 4 - Issue 2 | Pages: 053-070
Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease with structural and functional myocardial abnormalities in the absence of coronary artery disease, hypertension, valvular disease, and congenital heart disease. However, it has become clear that diverse etiologies and clinical manifestations (e.g. arrhythmogenic right-ventricular cardiomyopathy/dysplasia (ARVC/D), ARVD/C, left-ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy (LVNC)) are responsible for the clinical picture of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
The American Heart Association (AHA) classification grouped cardiomyopathies into genetic, mixed and acquired forms, while the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) classification proposed the subgrouping of each major type of cardiomyopathy into familial or genetic, and nonfamilial or nongenetic, forms [1-4].
Cardiomyopathies are clinically heterogeneous diseases, and there are differences in sex, age of onset, rate of progression, risk of development of overt heart failure and likelihood of sudden death within each cardiomyopathy subtype .
Because of the complex etiology and clinical presentation, the diagnostic spectrum in cardiomyopathies spans the entire range of non-invasive and invasive cardiological examination techniques including genetic analysis. The exact verification of certain cardiomyopathies necessitates additional investigations. So, histological, immunohistological and molecular biological/virological investigations of endomyocardial biopsies are the gold standard to confirm the diagnosis of an inflammatory cardiomyopathy (DCMi) [6-10].
This review focuses on myocarditis and inflammatory cardiomyopathies underlying an immune-mediated process or persistent viral infection.