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      The Alcoholic Cardiomyopathies – Genuine and Pseudo


      S. Karger AG

      Beriberi, Thiamine, Cobalt, Myocarditis, Heart failure, Coxsackie virus

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          Two types of genuine alcoholic cardiomyopathies can produce congestive heart failure, an acute fulminate hyperkinetic type with high cardiac output and a hypokinetic type with a low cardiac output, both of which respond to thiamine. When the chronic alcoholic develops a dilated cardiomyopathy with congestive heart failure without a history of significant malnutrition, then they do not respond to thiamine. This may be explained by a study in which mice given a myotropic virus plus alcohol developed more frequent and severe viral cardiomyopathies than those not fed alcohol. This suggests that a chronic dilated cardiomyopathy in an alcoholic may not be the direct result of the alcohol but secondary to a viral myocarditis. This suggests that the preferred terminology for a dilated cardiomyopathy in an alcoholic who does not respond to thiamine and good nutrition should simply be a dilated cardiomyopathy in an alcoholic. We should assume that the cardiomyopathy is possibly of viral etiology.

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          Author and article information

          S. Karger AG
          August 1999
          06 August 1999
          : 91
          : 2
          : 92-95
          Department of Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo, N.Y., USA
          6886 Cardiology 1999;91:92–95
          © 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          References: 42, Pages: 4


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