OBJECTIVE: Removal of cardiac autoantibodies by immunoadsorption might confer clinical improvement in dilated cardiomyopathy. In this pilot study, we investigated the efficacy and safety of immunoadsorption therapy in refractory heart failure patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. METHODS: This study consisted of 9 heart failure patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, NYHA III-IV, left ventricular ejection fraction <30%, unresponsive to heart failure therapy, and with cardiac autoantibodies. Patients underwent immunoadsorption therapy for five consecutive days using a tryptophan column. Changes in cardiac function (left ventricular ejection fraction, left ventricular end-diastolic diameter, left ventricular end-systolic diameter), exercise capacity (6-minute walk distance), neurohormonal (N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide), proinflammatory (high-sensitive C-reactive protein), and myocardial (cardiac troponin-I), biochemical, and hematological variables were obtained at baseline and after 3 and 6 months of immunoadsorption therapy. RESULTS: Mean left ventricular ejection fraction and 6-minute walk distance significantly increased at 3 months (from 23.27±5.09 to 32.1±1.7%, p=0.01 for left ventricular ejection fraction and from 353±118 to 434±159 m, p=0.04 for 6-minute walk distance) and further increased at 6 months after immunoadsorption therapy (to 34.5±7.7%, p=0.02 for ejection fraction and to 441±136 m, p=0.04 for 6-minute walk distance). NT-proBNP level reduced from 1161(392.8-3034) to 385(116.1-656.5) ng/L (p=0.04), and high-sensitive C-reactive protein decreased from 9.74±0.96 to 4.3±5.8 mg/L (p=0.04) at 6 months. Left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (66.1±5.8 vs. 64.7±8.9 mm) and left ventricular end-systolic diameter (56.1±8.6 vs. 52.3±10.8 mm) tended to decrease but did not reach statistical significance. No significant worsening was observed in creatinine, cardiac troponin-I, and hemoglobin levels after the immunoadsorption procedure. CONCLUSION: In dilated cardiomyopathy patients with refractory heart failure, immunoadsorption may be considered a potentially useful therapeutic option to improve a patient's clinical status.