The impact of specific viruses on clinical outcome in children presenting with acute heart failure

Maria Giulia Gagliardi, Alessandra Fierabracci, Mara Pilati, Marcello Chinali, Carlo Bassano, Francesca Saura, Isabella Giovannoni, Paola Francalanci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The presence and type of viral genomes have been suggested as the main etiology for inflammatory dilated cardiomyopathy. Information on the clinical implication of this finding in a large population of children is lacking. We evaluated the prevalence, type, and clinical impact of specific viral genomes in endomyocardial biopsies (EMB) collected between 2001 and 2013 among 63 children admitted to our hospital for acute heart failure (median age 2.8 years). Viral genome was searched by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Patients underwent a complete two-dimensional echocardiographic examination at hospital admission and at discharge and were followed-up for 10 years. Twenty-seven adverse events (7 deaths and 20 cardiac transplantations) occurred during the follow-up. Viral genome was amplified in 19/63 biopsies (35%); PVB19 was the most commonly isolated virus. Presence of specific viral genome was associated with a significant recovery in ejection fraction, compared to patients without viral evidence (p <0.05). In Cox-regression analysis, higher survival rate was related to virus-positive biopsies (p <0.05). When comparing long-term prognosis among different viral groups, a trend towards better prognosis was observed in the presence of isolated Parvovirus B19 (PVB19) (p = 0.07). In our series, presence of a virus-positive EMB (mainly PVB19) was associated with improvement over time in cardiac function and better long-term prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number486
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Biopsy
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Echocardiography
  • Longitudinal study
  • Myocarditis
  • Pediatric
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications


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