Alcoholic cardiomyopathy: Treatments, outlook, and more

In fact, Rehm has argued that methodological issues render the utility of cohort studies assessing the relationship between alcohol use and all‐cause mortality as ‘almost meaningless’ 10. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) is a type of heart disease that can result from chronic alcohol consumption. Experts do not know what quantity of alcohol a person needs to consume to develop ACM. They also have not identified the minimum length of time someone needs to drink alcohol before developing the condition. In 1887, Maguire reported on 2 patients with severe alcohol consumption who benefitted from abstinence. In 1890, Strümpell listed alcoholism as a cause of cardiac dilatation and hypertrophy, as did Sir William Osler in 1892 in his textbook Principles and Practices of Medicine.

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

alcoholic cardiomyopathy recovery time

They also have not established how long a person would need to consume alcohol before developing ACM. The source was identified to be the filter of Sober House choice for wine and beer, i.e., diatomaceous earth [36]. The German word for it is Kieselguhr, a beige powder made up of the skeletons of diatoms.


  • Although some studies have detailed structural and functional damage in proportion to the amount of alcohol consumed during a patient’s lifetime[24], a large majority of authors have discarded this theory[21-23,25].
  • Once doctors have found this, they will look for the cause of the weakened heart.
  • Palpitations, dizziness, and syncope are common complaints and are frequently caused by arrhythmias (eg, atrial fibrillation, flutter) and premature contractions.
  • Accordingly, a given amount of alcohol is administered to volunteers or alcoholics, followed by the measurement of a number of haemodynamic parameters and, in some cases, echocardiographic parameters.
  • In 1819 the Irish physician Dr. Samuel Black, who had a special interest in angina pectoris described what is probably the first commentary pertinent to the ”French Paradox“ [91].

Furthermore, Fernández-Solá et al[30], when analysing a population of alcoholics, found a higher prevalence of DCM in alcoholics than among the general population. Specifically, among alcoholics they found a prevalence of DCM of 0.43% in women and 0.25% in men, whereas the described prevalence of DCM in the general population is 0.03% to 0.05%[18,19]. At present ACM is considered a specific disease both by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and by the American Heart Association (AHA)[18,19]. In the ESC consensus document on the classification of cardiomyopathies, ACM is classified among the acquired forms of DCM[19]. Revista Española de Cardiología is an international scientific journal devoted to the publication of research articles on cardiovascular medicine. The journal, published since 1947, is the official publication of the Spanish Society of Cardiology and founder of the REC Publications journal family.

alcoholic cardiomyopathy recovery time

Basic studies on molecular mechanisms of myocardial damage

Data suggests patients with successful quitting of alcohol have improved overall outcomes with a reduced number of inpatient admissions and improvement in diameter size on echocardiogram. A case of rapid reversal of alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy with abstinence is reviewed. The present case highlights the acute toxic nature of alcohol and the potential for rapid functional recovery. To our knowledge, our study determined https://financeinquirer.com/top-5-advantages-of-staying-in-a-sober-living-house/ prognostic factors for ACM outcome in the largest cohort of ACM patients described to date. Our data show that the variables most closely predicting a poor outcome in ACM are QRS duration, SBP and NYHA classification at admission. Our study indicated that the QRS duration, systolic blood pressure, and New York Heart Association classification at admission provided independent prognostic information in patients with ACM.

Histologic Findings

Interestingly, although heart failure was the single most common cause of death (17% of deaths), overall non-cardiac causes accounted for 54% of deaths. The mainstay of therapy for alcoholic cardiomyopathy (AC) is to treat the underlying cause, ie, to have the patient exercise complete and perpetual abstinence from all alcohol consumption. The efficacy of abstinence has been shown in persons with early disease (eg, prior to the onset of severe myocardial fibrosis) and in individuals with more advanced disease (see Prognosis). Although the most common cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease, ischemic cardiomyopathy is unlikely in the absence of a clear history of prior ischemic events or angina and in the absence of Q waves on the ECG strip.

  • In the first of these studies, Fauchier et al[11] studied 50 patients with ACM and 84 patients with DCM between 1986 and 1997.
  • Increased high‐density lipoprotein (HDL), reduced plasma viscosity, decreased fibrinogen concentration, increased fibrinolysis, decreased platelet aggregation and coagulation and enhanced endothelial function are some of the potentially beneficial mechanisms 11, 14.
  • Also, there were significant size variations in the myofibrils and they showed a relative decrease in the number of striations, in addition to swelling, vacuolisation and hyalinisation.

Finally, it should be noted that a large majority of studies on the long-term prognosis of ACM used the cut-off point of 80 g/d for a minimum of 5 years to consider alcohol as the cause of DCM. Since those initial descriptions, reports on several isolated cases or in small series of patients with HF due to DCM and high alcohol intake have been published[15-17]. Some of these papers have also described the recovery of LVEF in many subjects after a period of alcohol withdrawal[15-17]. In this review, we evaluate the available evidence linking alcohol consumption with HF and DCM. Alcohol septal ablation is a commonly used procedure to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — the most common type of inherited heart disease. They commonly include fatigue, shortness of breath, and swelling of the legs and feet.

Laboratory Studies

  • It is important to note that the size and strength of different alcoholic beverages can vary, so these definitions serve as general guidelines.
  • However, this individual susceptibility mediated by polymorphisms of the angiotensin-converting enzyme gene does not appear to be specific to ACM insofar as several diseases, including some that are not of a cardiologic origin, have been related to this genetic finding[65].
  • The relationship of alcohol with heart disease or dementia is complicated by the fact that moderate alcohol consumption was shown not only to be detrimental but to a certain degree also protective against cardiovascular disease [14] or to cognitive function in predementia.
  • In the setting of acute alcohol use or intoxication, this is called holiday heart syndrome, because the incidence is increased following weekends and during holiday seasons.
  • In addition, people who receive early treatment for ACM, including medication and lifestyle modifications, have a better chance of improving their heart function and overall health.

Based on epidemiological evidence, ACM is recognized as a significant contributor to non-ischemic DCM in Western countries. Diagnosing ACM still relies on exclusion criteria, similar to alcoholic liver disease, as excessive alcohol consumption is observed in up to 40% of DCM patients. In a national inpatient sample study, some authors have reported ACM to be most common in white males aged between 45 and 59 [2]. Long-term alcohol abuse weakens and thins the heart muscle, affecting its ability to pump blood.

Study design:

People with alcoholic cardiomyopathy often have a history of heavy, long-term drinking, usually between five and 15 years. Heavy drinking is alcohol consumption that exceeds the recommended daily limits. Abnormal heart sounds, murmurs, ECG abnormalities, and enlarged heart on chest x-ray may lead to the diagnosis.

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