Cardiomyopathy

February 2017


Definition


Cardiomyopathy literally means "a disease of the heart muscle". The term actually includes several different diseases whose common point is the weakening of the myocardium, the heart muscle motor. Dysfunction of this muscle then impedes the function of the heart pumping blood to the rest of the body.

Symptoms


The symptoms differ somewhat depending on the type of cardiomyopathy, and sometimes they are even asymptomatic at first (no clinical signs). However, although they are not intrinsically linked to the disease, some of these symptoms may manifest themselves through fatigue, dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath on exertion, chest pain and edema of the lower limbs.

Diagnosis


Some forms of cardiomyopathy do not cause major problems. Sometimes they are discovered accidentally during examinations such as an EKG or chest X-ray. Several types of medical tests are also able to detect this condition, such as a coronary angiography (angiography) or simple blood tests. An echocardiography will in turn specify the type of cardiomyopathy.

Treatment


Again, support varies depending on the type of cardiomyopathy, but in general, drug therapy, commonly used in cardiology for chronic heart failure, is used, the most common being diuretics, calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors of the conversion enzyme ... In some cases, pacing (defibrillator, pacemaker) or surgery (heart transplant) are considered.

Prevention


Stress, alcohol or tobacco, diet high in fat, low physical activity, diabetes imbalance or poorly controlled hypertension: these are factors that can increase the risk of developing cardiomyopathy. It is therefore advisable to protect oneself by adopting a healthier way of life and by ensuring regular monitoring by a cardiologist if risk factors for heart disease are present.

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff. Latest update on November 5, 2013 at 09:16 AM by Jeff.
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