Case Study | Published:

Reversible cardiomyopathy caused by administration of interferon α

Nature Clinical Practice Cardiovascular Medicine volume 2, pages 5357 (2005) | Download Citation



Background A 56-year-old man with normal cardiac function received treatment with interferon α-2b for malignant melanoma. Eight months after the initiation of therapy he developed fatigue and dyspnea on exertion. Two months later, he was admitted to hospital with ORTHOPNEA, worsening dyspnea and cough. Physical examination findings were consistent with congestive heart failure. Laboratory studies were notable for hypothyroidism. Echocardiography revealed severe, global left-ventricular dysfunction.

Investigations Echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, serum chemistries, coronary angiography, right-heart and left-heart catheterization and endomyocardial biopsy.

Diagnosis Interferon α-2b-induced cardiomyopathy.

Management Intravenous dobutamine and dopamine for cardiogenic shock and discontinuation of interferon α-2b.

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The authors thank Kenneth L Baughman for advice on this manuscript. This work was supported in part by the Johns Hopkins DW Reynolds Foundation.

Author information


  1. AY Khakoo and JE Rame are Fellows, DP Judge an Assistant Professor and EK Kasper an Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology and MK Halushka is an Instructor and ER Rodriguez an Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

    • Aarif Y Khakoo
    • , Marc K Halushka
    • , J Eduardo Rame
    • , E Rene Rodriguez
    • , Edward K Kasper
    •  & Daniel P Judge


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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Daniel P Judge.

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