Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that makes it harder for your heart to pump blood to the rest of your body. Cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure. The main types of cardiomyopathy include dilated, hypertrophic and restrictive cardiomyopathy. Treatment — which might include medications, surgically implanted devices or, in severe cases, a heart transplant — depends on which type of cardiomyopathy you have and how serious it is.
There might be no signs or symptoms in the early stages of cardiomyopathy. But as the condition advances, signs and symptoms usually appear, including:
Signs and symptoms tend to get worse unless treated. In some people, the condition worsens quickly; in others, it might not worsen for a long time.
Often the cause of the cardiomyopathy is unknown. In some people, however, it's the result of another condition (acquired) or passed on from a parent (inherited).
Contributing factors for acquired cardiomyopathy include:
Types of caediomyopathy
Types of cardiomyopathy include:
In this type of cardiomyopathy, the pumping ability of your heart's main
pumping chamber — the left ventricle — becomes enlarged (dilated) and can't
effectively pump blood out of the heart.
Although this type can affect people of all ages, it occurs most often in middle-aged people and is more likely to affect men. The most common cause is coronary artery disease or heart attack.
This type involves abnormal thickening of your heart muscle, particularly affecting the muscle of your heart's main pumping chamber (left ventricle). The thickened heart muscle can make it harder for the heart to work properly.Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can develop at any age, but the condition tends to be more severe if it becomes apparent during childhood. Most affected people have a family history of the disease, and some genetic mutations have been linked to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
In this type, the heart muscle becomes rigid and less elastic, so it can't expand and fill with blood between heartbeats. This least common type of cardiomyopathy can occur at any age, but it most often affects older people. Restrictive cardiomyopathy can occur for no known reason (idiopathic), or it can by caused by a disease elsewhere in the body that affects the heart, such as when iron builds up in the heart muscle (hemochromatosis).
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia
In this rare type of cardiomyopathy, the muscle in the lower right heart chamber (right ventricle) is replaced by scar tissue, which can lead to heart rhythm problems. It's often caused by genetic mutations.
Other types of cardiomyopathy fall into this category.
There are a number of factors that can increase your risk of cardiomyopathy, including:
Cardiomyopathy can lead to other heart conditions, including: