Alternate Names : Cardiomyopathy – dilated
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged, and it cannot pump blood efficiently. The decreased heart function can affect the lungs, liver, and other body systems.
There are several different types of cardiomyopathy. Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common form.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Ischemic cardiomyopathy
- Restrictive cardiomyopathy
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
There are many causes of dilated cardiomyopathy. Some of these are:
- Coronary artery disease (See: Ischemic cardiomyopathy)
- Poorly controlled high blood pressure
- Stress-induced cardiomyopathy
- Infections that involve the heart muscle, such as viruses, HIV infection, Chagas disease, and Lyme disease
- Alcohol (alcoholic cardiomyopathy) or cocaine abuse
- Trace elements, such as lead, arsenic, or mercury
- Family history of cardiomyopathy (some cardiomyopathies run in families and have a genetic component)
- Inherited disorders such as muscular dystrophy
- Pregnancy (See: Peripartum cardiomyopathy)
- Atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, or other heart rhythm problems in which the heart beats very fast for a long period of time (called Tachycardia-mediated cardiomyopathy)
- End-stage kidney disease
- Autoimmune illnesses that involve the heart, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis
- Deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals (thiamine, calcium, magnesium)
This condition can affect anyone at any age. However, it is most common in adult men.
The most common causes of dilated cardiomyopathy in children are:
- Heart (coronary) disease
- Some infections
- Unknown cause (idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy)
Pictures & Images
Heart, section through the middle
The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.
Heart, front view
The external structures of the heart include the ventricles, atria, arteries and veins. Arteries carry blood away from the heart while veins carry blood into the heart. The vessels colored blue indicate the transport of blood with relatively low content of oxygen and high content of carbon dioxide. The vessels colored red indicate the transport of blood with relatively high content of oxygen and low content of carbon dioxide.
Dilated cardiomyopathy : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Dilated cardiomyopathy : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests
Dilated cardiomyopathy : Treatment
Review Date : 1/23/2009
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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