Cardiomyopathy

Definition

Cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the heart muscle or another problem with the heart muscle. It often occurs when the heart cannot pump as well as it should, or with other heart function problems.

Most patients with cardiomyopathy have heart failure.

Causes

Different types of cardiomyopathy exist, and they have many different causes:

Treatment

When possible, the cause of cardiomyopathy is treated. Medicines and lifestyle changes are often needed to treat the symptoms of heart failure, angina, and abnormal heart rhythms.

Different procedures or surgeries may also be used:

Recently, implantable artificial heart pumps have been developed. However, very few patients are able to have this advanced treatment.

References

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.