Cardiomyopathy, also called myocarditis, is a serious disease of the heart. In it, the heart muscle becomes inflamed and weakened, causing symptoms of heart failure, which can mimic a heart attack. Cardiomyopathy can be classified as primary or secondary. Primary cardiomyopathy can't be attributed to a specific cause, such as high blood pressure, heart valve disease, artery diseases or congenital heart defects. Secondary cardiomyopathy is due to specific causes. It's often associated with diseases involving other organs as well as the heart. There are three main types of cardiomyopathy — dilated, hypertrophic and restrictive. It has multiple causes, including viral infections.
A Answers (11)
American Heart Association answered
Johns Hopkins Medicine answered
Cardiomyopathy is the term used to describe any disease that affects the heart's ability to pump blood. Cardiomyopathy can be classified three ways:
- Dilated (or congestive) cardiomyopathy refers to a weakness in the walls of the heart. This weakness causes the walls to balloon out, which compromises the heart's efficiency and increases the risk of congestive heart failure, arrhythmias and the formation of blood clots (which may cause heart attacks or strokes).
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy refers to an overgrowth or thickening of heart muscle, which may make blood flow through the heart more difficult. ).
- Restrictive cardiomyopathy refers to a loss of elasticity of the heart walls, which prevents the heart from correctly filling with blood before it contracts.
Except when caused by viral infections, cardiomyopathy develops slowly and may produce no symptoms until the later stages.
The disorder is relatively rare, accounting for only 1 percent of heart disease fatalities in the United States, although it is one of the more common causes of serious heart disease in younger people.
Cardiomyopathy due to coronary disease is very common in the elderly. Depending upon the type of cardiomyopathy, treatment may include medications, implantable devices or, in severe cases, a heart transplant.
Often there are no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they are most commonly associated with those of congestive heart failure and may include the following:
- Shortness of breath, especially during exertion.
- Swelling of the feet, ankles or hands (edema).
- Dizziness or fainting.
- Wheezing and a dry cough, or a cough producing foamy, bloody phlegm.
- Chest pain (may be mild).
- Stroke or painful and cold extremity due to a blood clot blocking a blood vessel.
Cardiomyopathy is a general term for a disease of the heart muscle.
This condition means that the heart muscle is not working normally. It can occur as a dilated, stretched out form, or as a hypertrophic (thickened) or restrictive form.
Some causes of cardiomyopathies run in families while some result from other problems, such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, fast heart rates, valvular problems, thyroid problems, HIV, or pregnancy. Other causes can be due to toxins to the heart, such as alcohol. A heart failure specialist can help evaluate these different causes, and manage the heart to minimize problems from the cardiomyopathy.
Penn Medicine answered
Cardiomyopathy is a general term for a disease of the heart muscle. You may be told that your problem is idiopathic (the cause is not known), or your doctor may say you have dilated cardiomyopathy, which is the most common form. It refers to the heart stretching or becoming larger. Viruses, the effects of alcohol or other toxic agents or sometimes pregnancy can cause this.
Studies show that dilated cardiomyopathy tends to run in families. If the heart becomes strained, it will most often appear enlarged on a chest X-ray.
Some things can also get into the heart muscle (example: iron, amyloid [body protein] or a tumor). A stretched heart does not pump as well as it should. It is like a rubber band that has lost its snap.
The doctor may also say that you have restrictive or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which means that it is more difficult for the heart to fill. A chest X-ray may not show the problem. Other tests may be needed to find out what is going on with the heart and how best to treat it.
Cardiomyopathy refers to several diseases that affect the myocardium (heart muscle) and are associated with mechanical and/or electrical dysfunction. In cardiomyopathy, abnormal heart function results from weakness or structural changes in the myocardium.
There are four main types of cardiomyopathy as defined by the American Heart Association (AHA): arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and restrictive cardiomyopathy. They are then categorized into two groups: primary or secondary. Primary cardiomyopathies may be genetic (inherited) or acquired (develop the condition). Secondary cardiomyopathies result from an underlying condition such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, chronic alcohol consumption, infection, or drugs/toxins (e.g., heavy metals, anthracyclines, cocaine). Clinical presentation varies from asymptomatic (without symptoms) to sudden cardiac death.Therapies for cardiomyopathy aim to reduce the symptoms of heart failure and the risk of complications such as arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat or abnormal heart rhythm). Treatments may involve drugs, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), or cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) to regulate the heartbeat and reduce the risk of fatal arrhythmias. In some cases, heart transplant may be necessary. General measures that may reduce mortality and prevent future occurrences of heart failure include controlling blood pressure and weight (through diet and exercise), reducing alcohol and sodium consumption, and quitting smoking.
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Cardiomyopathy is any weakening or deformity of the heart muscle that causes a decreased force of pumping. This leads to less efficient circulation of blood through the lungs and the rest of the body.
Cardiomyopathy, or heart muscle disease, is a group of disorders that directly damages the heart muscle, impairing its ability to pump blood to other parts of the body.
Cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart muscle becomes enlarged or rigid. This can lead to inadequate heart pumping or other problems. Cardiomyopathy has many causes, including family history of the disease, prior heart attacks and viral or bacterial infections.
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Cardiomyopathy occurs when narrowed blood vessels let less blood flow through the heart, causing heart muscle to become weak and enlarged. Symptoms include shortness of breath, ankle swelling, and fatigue. It also occurs for other reasons such as longstanding, untreated high blood pressure and infection of the heart muscle.
Allan Stewart, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgery, answered on behalf of Columbia University Department of Surgery
A myopathy is, by definition, a disease of muscle. Cardiomyopathy then is a general term referring to heart muscle disease. It refers to a spectrum of disorders that result in an impairment the ability of the heart to pump blood to other parts of the body. Common forms of cardiomyopathy include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (where the heart makes too much muscle), ischemic cardiomyopathy (a consequence of prolonged lack of blood flow to the heart), post-partum cardiomyopathy (a poorly understood disease originating after pregnancy), and idiopathic cardiomyopathy (heart muscle dysfunction due to an unknown cause).
Cardiomyopathy refers to diseases that enlarge, weaken or stiffen the muscles in the walls of the heart. When these muscles do not work well, the heart cannot circulate blood through the body. That can lead to heart failure. Causes of cardiomyopathy include high blood pressure, diseases of the heart valves, heart attack and infections.