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Cardiomyopathy - dilated
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged, and it cannot pump blood efficiently. The decreased heart function can affect the lungs, liver, and other body systems.
There are several different types of cardiomyopathy. Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common form.
There are many causes of dilated cardiomyopathy. Some of these are:
This condition can affect anyone at any age. However, it is most common in adult men.
The most common causes of dilated cardiomyopathy in children are:
Symptoms of heart failure are most common. Usually, they develop slowly over time. However, sometimes symptoms start very suddenly and are severe. Common symptoms are:
Other symptoms may include:
Cardiomyopathy is usually discovered when the doctor is examining and testing you for the cause of heart failure.
A number of laboratory tests may be done to determine the cause:
Children will have:
Heart enlargement, congestion of the lungs, decreased movement/functioning of the heart, or heart failure may show on these tests:
Other tests may include:
Lab tests vary depending on the suspected cause.
Treatment for cardiomyopathies focuses on treating heart failure. They include:
See also: Heart failure
Cardiac catheterization might be done to see if you may benefit from coronary artery bypass (CABG) surgery or a balloon procedure (angioplasty), which could improve blood flow to the damaged or weakened heart muscle.
A heart transplant may be recommended for patients who have failed all the standard treatments and still have very severe symptoms.
The outcome varies. Some people remain in a stable condition for long periods of time, some continue to gradually get sicker, and others quickly get worse. Cardiomyopathy can only be corrected if the disease that caused it can be cured.
About one-third of children recover completely, one-third recover but continue to have some heart problems, and one-third die.
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of cardiomyopathy.
If chest pain, palpitations, or faintness develop seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
Hare JM. The dilated, restrictive, and infiltrative cardiomyopathies. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 68.
Wexler RK, Elton T, Pleister A, Feldman D. Cardiomyopathy: An overview. Am Fam Physician. 2009;79:778-784.
Bernstein D. Diseases of the myocardium. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 439.
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