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Definition Return to top
Cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the heart muscle or a change in heart muscle structure. It is often associated with inadequate heart pumping or other heart function problems.
Causes Return to top
Common types of cardiomyopathy include:
Common causes of cardiomyopathy are:
Please see the linked articles for details on a specific type of cardiomyopathy:
Treatment Return to top
When the cause of the dilated cardiomyopathy can be identified, efforts are aimed at treating that condition (for example, stopping alcohol or cocaine use). Often, no specific cause can be identified.
Attempts are also made to find a "trigger" that may have caused a patient's symptoms to suddenly get worse. Examples include:
The overall treatment of cardiomyopathies is focused on treating heart failure. However, each type of cardiomyopathy may be treated differently.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The outlook depends on many different things, including:
The disorder is long-term (chronic) and the condition may get worse very quickly.
References Return to top
Hare JM. The dilated, restrictive, and infiltrative cardiomyopathies. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Libby: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2007: chap 64.Update Date: 4/28/2009 Updated by: Larry A. Weinrauch, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Private practice specializing in Cardiovascular Disease, Watertown, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.