Cardiomyopathy is disease in which the heart muscle becomes weakened, stretched, or has another structural problem. It often contributes to the heart's inability to pump or function well.

Many people with cardiomyopathy have heart failure.

Heart - section through the middle

The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.

Heart - front view

The external structures of the heart include the ventricles, atria, arteries and veins. Arteries carry blood away from the heart while veins carry blood into the heart. The vessels colored blue indicate the transport of blood with relatively low content of oxygen and high content of carbon dioxide. The vessels colored red indicate the transport of blood with relatively high content of oxygen and low content of carbon dioxide.

Dilated cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy involves enlargement of the heart muscle and is the most common type of cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump blood efficiently. Decreased heart function affects the lungs, liver, and other body systems.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the thickening of the muscles that make up the heart. The thickening may interfere with the normal functioning of the heart by narrowing the outflow of the ventricle; reducing the ability of the heart to relax and fill with blood during the relaxation phase; or reducing the ability of the valves of the heart to function properly. Any situation that increases the contraction or rate of contraction of the heart muscle can worsen these symptoms.

Peripartum cardiomyopathy

Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a rare disorder in which a weakened heart is diagnosed within the last month of pregnancy or within 5 months after delivery, without other identifiable causes for dysfunction of the heart. The heart muscle becomes enlarged and weakened and cannot pump blood efficiently. Decreased heart function affects the lungs, liver, and other body systems.

Cardiomyopathy, also known as myocardiopathy, is a condition that includes diseases of the heart muscle, resulting in abnormal heart function. It is a progressive impairment of the structure and function of the muscular walls of the heart chambers, and is distinguished from heart muscle impairment caused by hypertension, coronary atherosclerosis, valvular dysfunction, or abnormalities of the pericardium. Cardiomyopathy may be caused by many disorders, or it may be idiopathic (of unknown cause). The main types of cardiomyopathies are dilated, hypertrophic, and restrictive. Cardiomyopathies often cause symptoms of heart failure. Some cardiomyopathies may also cause chest pain, fainting, arrhythmia, or sudden death. Treatment of cardiomyopathies, in addition to lifestyle changes, includes drug therapy with beta-blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants and antiarrhythmics, surgical intervention, pacemaker therapy, and in high-risk patients, implantable cardioverter defibrillator to prevent sudden cardiac death. Cardiac transplantation is an option for patients who do not respond to any of these treatment options.



Outlook (Prognosis)