Cardiomyopathy

Overview

Cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects the heart muscle and the way it pumps. There are different types of cardiomyopathies. And these types have different causes. Cardiomyopathy may occur as a result of damage to the heart, such as from a heart attack, or a person may inherit the tendency to develop it.

Types of cardiomyopathies

Some types of cardiomyopathies are:

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy. The chambers of the heart enlarge and weaken. Examples include:
    • Alcoholic cardiomyopathy.
    • Drug-related cardiomyopathy, including cocaine and methamphetamine.
    • Infectious cardiomyopathy.
    • Inflammatory cardiomyopathy.
    • Ischemic cardiomyopathy.
    • Peripartum cardiomyopathy.
    • Tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle thickens and cannot relax properly.
  • Restrictive cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle gets stiff. Examples include:
    • Sarcoid cardiomyopathy.
    • Transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis cardiomyopathy.
  • Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Some of the heart muscle is replaced with fibrous tissue.

What happens

For some cardiomyopathies, the changes in the heart muscle can lead to other heart problems such as heart failure. Heart failure means the heart cannot pump blood normally. When the heart cannot pump blood well, the rest of the body may not get enough blood, oxygen, or nutrients. Cardiomyopathy can also lead to other heart problems such as atrial fibrillation, which is a type of irregular heartbeat.

Treatments

Treatment for cardiomyopathy depends on the type of cardiomyopathy and the type of heart problems that occur as a result of the changes in the heart muscle. Treatment typically includes medicine and healthy lifestyle changes.

Credits

Current as of: January 10, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
George Philippides MD - Cardiology

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