Cardiomyopathy

Also known as: restrictive cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia

​What is Cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy is a group of  diseases that affect the heart muscle. The typically flexible heart muscle turns more rigid, thicker or larger than normal. Scar tissue can also develop on the heart in some instances.


What causes cardiomyopathy? 

In many cases the cause is unknown, in some children it is inherited from family members. Certain lifestyle choices or environmental exposures can cause cardiomyopathy, such as drugs, alcohol or exposure to toxins. Some diseases like heart disease or diabetes can lead to cardiomyopathy as a complication of the disease.


What are the symptoms of cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy often doesn’t have any signs and symptoms, at least at first. As it worsens, extreme tiredness, swelling of parts of the body like the legs or feet or shortness of breath may occur.


What are cardiomyopathy care options? 

Heart-healthy practices such as improved diet, exercise and sleep may help with mild cardiomyopathy. Medications can help to manage the symptoms of the disease. In some cases, surgery, other non-surgical procedures or the implantation of heart devices might be needed to manage cardiomyopathy.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 11/7/2017 2:42:31 PM

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