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The Korean Journal of Pathology 1996;30(6): 523-527.
Giant Cell Myocarditis: A case report.
Ho Jung Lee, Jae Gul Chung, In Chul Lee, Myeong Gun Song, Jae Jung Kim, Jong Goo Lee
1Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Asan Medical Center, College of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Chest Surgery, Asan Medical Center, College of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Seoul, Korea.
3Department of Internal Medicine, Asan Medical Center, College of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Seoul, Korea.
Giant cell myocarditis(GCM) is a rare inflammatory heart disease which is characterized by multinucleated giant cells and a granulomatous reaction. It usually progresses rapidly and results in a fatal course. We report a patient with giant cell myocarditis who was treated by cardiac transplantation. A 35-year-old male was admitted with dyspnea which had developed 4 months before. On echocardiography, the right and left ventricles were markedly dilated and severe global hypokinesia was noted. He was diagosed with dilated cardiomyopathy with secondary severe mitral regurgitation. His cardiac function deteriorated progressively. He underwent orthotopic heart transplantation. Grossly the heart was enlarged, weighing 420gm and round with a blunt apex. Both right and left ventricles were markedly dilated. There were numerous white patches, measuring up to 4cm, throughout the epi- and myocardium. Microscopically, extensive fibrosis and multiple exuberant granulomas with numerous scattered multinucleated giant cells were seen. Lymphocytes and eosinophils were also frequent. Coronary arteries were unremarkable. Neither microorganisms nor foreign materials were found. By serial endomyocardial biopsies of the transplanted heart, only mild perivascular lymphocytic infiltration was occasionally observed without any evidence of rejection or recurrence of giant cell myocarditis. The patient's postoperative course has been uneventful so far(postoperative 21 months). The etiology of GCM remains to be clarified, although various factors are suspected. No matter what the cause, our experience suggests that this grave disease might be treated well by heart transplantation.
Key Words: Giant cell myocarditis; Heart transplantation
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