Department of Internal Medicine, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpétrière, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France; CNRS UMR 7211, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpétrière, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.
Cardiac manifestation in primary systemic vasculitides is associated with poor outcomes, leading to the use of immunosuppressive therapy. In contrast, the spectrum and the outcome of cardiac involvement in the setting of mixed cryoglobulinemia vasculitis (CryoVas) have never been evaluated. To describe the clinical presentation and to evaluate clinical outcomes of cardiac manifestations during hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related mixed CryoVas, the clinical records of 165 consecutive patients with HCV-related mixed CryoVas followed from January 1, 1993, to January 1, 2010, were reviewed. Of the 165 patients with HCV-related mixed CryoVas, 7 (4%) had cardiac manifestations. Thoracic pain and congestive heart failure manifestations were the main clinical manifestations (n = 4 [57%] each). Cardiac imaging showed dilated cardiomyopathy in 5 patients and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in 1. In multivariate analysis, patients with cardiac manifestations had more frequent B-cell lymphoma (odds ratio 18.1, 95% confidence interval 2.8 to 116.7, p = 0.0023) and gastrointestinal involvement (odds ratio 14.6, 95% confidence interval 2.0 to 104.9, p = 0.0078). All cardiac manifestations were reversible early after the initiation of corticosteroids and aggressive immunosuppressive therapy. However, after a median follow-up period of 19 months, 3 patients (43%) had died. Respective 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year survival rates in patients with and without cardiac involvement were 86% and 99%, 71% and 96%, and 48% and 90% (hazard ratio 5.01, p = 0.003). In conclusion, cardiac damage is a rare manifestation of HCV-related mixed cryoglobulinemia vasculitis. Cardiac involvement is associated with B-cell lymphoma and life-threatening manifestations. Despite favorable early outcomes, patients with cardiac damage had poorer survival than those without.