Immunological studies have shown new diagnostically important changes in alcoholic and viral myocarditis, as well as in congestive cardiomyopathy. Increased heart size correlated with the degree of congestive heart failure, as well as with negative immunofluorescence and an increased IgA concentration in the serum. These findings may serve as a diagnostic aid in patients with myocardial disease due to alcohol abuse. Viral heart disease is characterized by a variety of symptoms and nuclear antibodies (IgM) can be of help in the differential diagnosis. Heart muscle tissue of patients with congestive cardiomyopathy preferentially binds IgG and IgA. In addition to the other changes these findings are of diagnostic importance. It seems likely that results similar to those obtained for humoral antibodies in congestive cardiomyopathy will apply in the correlation of the haemodynamic status of the patients. The pathophysiological implication of these findings is not clear at present, but the evolution of congestive cardiomyopathy appears to be associated with binding of immunoglobulin to the myocardium, as well as with humoral antiheart antibodies.
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