|Budget Amount *help
¥8,400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥8,400,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥3,700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥3,700,000)
Fiscal Year 1996 : ¥4,700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥4,700,000)
Anti-hepatitis C virus antibody was present in the sera of 8 of 53 patients (15.1%) with dilated cardiomyopathy and 11 of 66 patients (13.8%) with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, versus 2.4% in control population of voluntary blood donors in Japan, a statistically significant difference (p<0.0001). In hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, type 1b hepatitis C virus RNA was present in the sera of 5 of the 9 patients. The copy number of hepatitis C virus was 5.5x10^3to8.6x10^5 genomes/ml serum, and multiple clones of hepatitis C virus were detected in the sera of each patient. Positive strands of hepatitis C virus were found in the hearts of 6 patients, and negative strands in the hearts of 2 patients.
As a collaborative research project, a questionnaire was sent out to examine the possible association between hepatitis C virus infection and cardiomyopathies. Hepatitis C virus antibody was found in 74 of 697 patients (10.6%) with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (mean age, 57.7 years) and in 42 of 663 patients (6.3%) with dilated cardiomyopathy (mean age, 56.5 years) ; these prevalences were significantly higher than that found in volunteer blood donors in Japan (2.4%, 50-59 years of age, each p<0.0001). The prevalence was significantly higher in patients suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as opposed to those with dilated cardiomyopathy (p<0.01). Presence of hepatitis virus antibody was detected in 650 of 11,967 patients (5.4%) seeking care in 5 academic hospitals. Various cardiac abnormalities were found among these patients with positive anti-hepatitis C virus antibody, arrhythmias being the most frequent. These observations suggest that hepatitis C virus infection is an important cause of a variety of otherwise unexplained heart diseases.