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Endomyocardial Fibrosis Common in Mozambique

Researchers' echocardiography diagnostic criteria identifies early, asymptomatic cases

WEDNESDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- In a rural area of Mozambique, endomyocardial fibrosis is common among all age groups, but may not be representative of the country as a whole. Echocardiography can identify the condition while it's still asymptomatic, researchers report in the July 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ana Olga Mocumbi, M.D., of the Instituto do Coracao in Maputo, Mozambique, and colleagues used transthoracic echocardiography to assess 1,063 random subjects in a rural area of Mozambique. After defining the major and minor diagnostic criteria for endomyocardial fibrosis, they developed and applied a severity score to the results.

The researchers diagnosed endomyocardial fibrosis in 211 (19.8 percent) of the subjects. They found that the condition was most prevalent in the 10- to 19-year-old age group (28.1 percent), affected more men than women (23 percent versus 17.5 percent), and that the most common form was biventricular endomyocardial fibrosis (55.5 percent). In most subjects diagnosed with endomyocardial fibrosis, they observed mild-to-moderate structural and functional abnormalities, finding that only 48 (22.7 percent) were symptomatic.

"We describe a set of criteria for the diagnosis and classification of endomyocardial fibrosis that we believe will be useful in staging the disease, studying its progression, and comparing the results of different epidemiologic studies," the authors write. "These findings may aid in the study of the pathogenesis of the disease and in the development of new management strategies," they conclude.

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