|Budget Amount *help
¥10,200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥10,200,000)
Fiscal Year 1999 : ¥4,800,000 (Direct Cost : ¥4,800,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥5,400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥5,400,000)
The importance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has recently been noted in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) or dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
In a collaborative research project of the Committees for the Study of Idiopathic Cardiomyopathy, HCV antibody was found in 74 of 697 patients (10.6%) with HCM and in 42 of 663 patients (6.3%) with DCM; this prevalence was significantly higher than measured in volunteer blood donors in Japan (2.4%).
A collaborative multicenter study, chaired by Dr.B.Maisch, was performed to test the reproducibility of detection of detection of viral genomes such as enteroviruses, adenovirus, cytomegalovirus and HCV in formalin fixed tissues. Autopsy and biopsy materials were analyzed blindly. Hepatitis C virus genomes were found in the hearts of 2 out of 11 patients (18%) with dilated cardiomyopathy and myocarditis from Italy, and 4 out of 11 patients (36%) from the United States. We attempted to detect HCV genomes in paraffin sections of autopsied hearts. Among 106 hearts examined, β-actin gene was amplified in 61 hearts (52.6%). Among these, HCV RNA was detected in 13 hearts (21.3%), and negative strands in 4 hearts (6.6%). HCV RNA was found in 6 hearts (26.0%) with HCM, 3 heart (11.5%) with DCM, and 4 hearts (33.3%) with myocarditis. These HCV RNA positive samples were obtained between 1979 and 1990, indicating that HCV RNA can be amplified from paraffin-embedded hearts preserved for many years. We also analyzed autopsied hearts with DCM in a collaborative research with the University of Utah, and found HCV RNA in 8 of 23 hearts (35%) with positive actin genes. The sequences of HCV genomes recovered from these hearts were closely homologous to the standard strain of HCV.