Clinical profile and outcome of idiopathic restrictive cardiomyopathy

Naser M. Ammash, James B. Seward, Kent R. Bailey, William D. Edwards, A. Jamil Tajik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


Background - Idiopathic restrictive cardiomyopathy is a poorly recognized entity of unknown cause characterized by nondilated, nonhypertrophied ventricles with diastolic dysfunction resulting in dilated atria and variable systolic function. Methods and Results - Between 1979 and 1996, 94 patients (61% women) 10 to 90 years old (mean, 64 years) met strict morphological echocardiographic criteria for idiopathic restrictive cardiomyopathy, mainly dilated atria with nonhypertrophied, nondilated ventricles. None had known infiltrative disease, hypertension of >5 years' duration, or cardiac or systemic conditions associated with restrictive filling. Nineteen percent were in NYHA class I, 53% in class II, and 28% in class III or IV. Atrial fibrillation was noted in 74% of patients and systolic dysfunction in 16%. Follow-up (mean, 68 months) was complete for 93 patients (99%). At follow-up, 47 patients (50%) had died, 32 (68%) of cardiovascular causes. Four had heart transplantation. The death rate compared with actuarial statistics was significantly higher than expected (P<0.0001). Kaplan-Meier 5-year survival was 64%, compared with expected survival of 85%. Multivariate analysis using proportional hazards showed that the risk of death approximately doubles with male sex (hazard ratio [HR] =2.1), left atrial dimension >60 mm (HR=2.3), age >70 years (HR=2.0), and each increment of NYHA class (HR=2.0). Conclusions - Idiopathic restrictive cardiomyopathy or nondilated, nonhypertrophic ventricles with marked biatrial dilatation, as defined morphologically by echocardiography, affects predominantly elderly patients but can occur in any age group. Patients present with systemic and pulmonary venous congestion and atrial fibrillation and have a poor prognosis, particularly men >70 years old with higher NYHA class and left atrial dimension >60 mm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2490-2496
Number of pages7
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 30 2000


  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Echocardiography
  • Prognosis
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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