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BackgroundHeart failure (HF), the dominant form of cardiovascular disease in Africans, is mainly due to hypertension, rheumatic heart disease and cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathies pose a great challenge because of poor prognosis and high prevalence in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Little is known about the etiology and outcome of cardiomyopathy in Africa. Specifically, the role of myocarditis and the genetic causes of cardiomyopathy are largely unidentified in Africans.MethodThe African Cardiomyopathy and Myocarditis Registry Program (the IMHOTEP study) is a pan-African multi-centre, hospital-based cohort study, designed with the primary aim of describing the clinical characteristics, genetic causes, prevalence, management and outcome of cardiomyopathy and myocarditis in children and adults. The secondary aim is to identify barriers to the implementation of evidence-based care and provide a platform for trials and other intervention studies to reduce morbidity and mortality in cardiomyopathy. The registry consists of a prospective cohort of newly diagnosed (i.e., incident) cases and a retrospective (i.e., prevalent) cohort of existing cases from participating centres. Patients with cardiomyopathy and myocarditis will be subjected to a standardized 3-stage diagnostic process. To date, 750 patients have been recruited into the multi-centre pilot phase of the study.ConclusionThe IMHOTEP study will provide comprehensive and novel data on clinical features, genetic causes, prevalence and outcome of African children and adults with all forms of cardiomyopathy and myocarditis in Africa. Based on these findings, appropriate strategies for management and prevention of the cardiomyopathies in LMICs are likely to emerge.

Original publication




Journal article


International journal of cardiology

Publication Date



The Cardiac Clinic and Hatter Institute of Cardiovascular Research in Africa, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town (UCT) and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.


IMHOTEP Investigators