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Cardiomyopathy – Diagnosis and Treatment

Cardiomyopathy has no cure, but there are treatments available that can manage its symptoms and help prevent its complications. However, early diagnosis is essential. Treatment for this condition may include medicines to control blood pressure, alter an abnormal heart rhythm, remove excess fluid, and prevent blood clots. Another option is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator or pacemaker. You can find more information on implantable defibrillators at the British Heart Foundation.


Cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure, and symptoms are not always immediately apparent. However, early diagnosis allows doctors to diagnose the condition early, leading to an improved prognosis. Although symptoms can vary, some common signs include heart pain, shortness of breath upon exertion, and increased sweating. Infants and children with cardiomyopathy may also experience fatigue and lack of appetite. Symptoms can also include irregular heartbeats, chest pain, and dizziness.

Cardiomyopathy is traditionally classified into three basic types: hypertrophic, dilated, and restrictive. Some cardiomyopathies affect the entire heart, while others affect additional organ systems. Children with cardiomyopathy are most likely diagnosed before they turn one year old. However, seeking medical attention is essential if you suspect your child may have the condition.

Cardiomyopathy can affect men and women of all ages and can be caused by various conditions. For example, certain infections and autoimmune diseases can cause the disease, while medicines used to treat other ailments can cause heart damage. In addition, certain conditions may be inherited, which makes it even more important to get an early diagnosis.


Diagnosis of cardiomyopathy begins with a detailed history and physical examination. Tests may include a chest x-ray, electrocardiogram, and laboratory studies. In some cases, a myocardial biopsy is necessary. Other diagnostic tests may include cardiac catheterization, echocardiogram, or nuclear medicine imaging.

Cardiomyopathy can result in several symptoms, including chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and a rapid heartbeat. In the most severe cases, the patient may also experience heart failure, which can lead to sudden death or cardiac arrest. In most cases, there will be no symptoms in the early stages, but symptoms of the disease may worsen over time.

There are several causes for cardiomyopathy. Some are inherited, while injury or side effects from treatment cause others. In some cases, cardiomyopathy can be treated through medications and a healthy lifestyle. This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis. In addition, it may not reflect current information, so users should seek the advice of a healthcare professional.


Cardiomyopathy is a progressive heart condition, and treatment options may vary depending on the specific condition. Treatment may include medication therapy, surgery, or implantable cardiac devices. In some cases, cardiomyopathy can be managed with healthy lifestyle changes. In other cases, cardiomyopathy may require cardiac transplantation. If the condition is left untreated, cardiomyopathy can progress into heart failure. Mostly, treatment options are available through lifestyle changes and medication.

A physician will first diagnose the condition by taking a thorough medical history and examining the patient’s heart and lungs. Tests may include chest X-rays, a CT scan or an MRI. Cardiac catheterization may also be recommended, which involves inserting a catheter into the heart to view its chambers.

Cardiomyopathy is an inherited or acquired disease of the heart’s muscles. Most people with the condition are unaware that they have it. Because it is a progressive disease, treatment options may involve lifestyle changes and medicines. Treatment may include surgery to correct arrhythmias and non-surgical procedures to treat the symptoms.

Genetic testing

Many cardiologists are now recommending genetic testing for patients with cardiac conditions. While this method is not a perfect solution, it can help to narrow the genetic gap between patients and their affected relatives. It is also a valuable tool for identifying disease-causing mutations in the genome. However, genetic testing is not always effective and may not be covered by health insurers.

Various rare genetic variants cause cardiomyopathy. These mutations are usually private to individual families. However, they are usually inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means they are passed down 50% from one parent to the other. Less common forms of inheritance include X-linked and matrilinear.

As of 2017, there are several genetic tests available. Several of them can be performed through clinical laboratories. Genetic testing of patients with cardiomyopathy can help physicians determine the underlying causes and predict patient risk for the disease. Genetic tests for cardiomyopathy are also increasingly affordable thanks to advancements in DNA sequencing technologies.