Anew term for an important group of abnormal cardiac states was introduced by Brigden1 in 1957 when he noted that "cardiomyopathy is used here to indicate isolated non-coronary myocardial disease." There is an ever-increasing number of heart conditions huddled beneath the umbrella of "cardiomyopathy," including such entities as hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, collagen disease, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, and a bewildering assortment of other myopathies. Current study of the etiologic, pathologic, and clinical characteristics of this category of myocardial involvement must soon result in new classifications based upon clearer understanding of pathogenetic factors.
Recent data permit differentiation among a variety of cardiomyopathies characterized by carbohydrate deposition in cardiac muscle. Ferrans, Hibbs, Walsh, and Burch2 recently described unique clinical and pathologic features associated with deposits of a previously undescribed polysaccharide in the heart, liver, and other organs. These findings were observed in a young patient whose clinical manifestations were primarily those of