Dr. Nabi Darya Vali (AIIMS)MBBS

November 29, 2018

March 06, 2020


What is cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy is a condition of the heart muscles due to which pumping of blood to the rest of the body becomes more difficult. While those who have cardiomyopathy can lead normal lives with proper care and attention, it can, in some cases lead to heart failure. Care for cardiomyopathy depends on the type of the problem suffered – dilated, hypertrophic or restricted.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

In the early stages it might be hard to notice any signs, but eventually, some symptoms appear. These include:

What are its main causes?

The main cause of the condition is hard to ascertain, while in some cases it may be hereditary. Factors that could contribute are:

  • Blood pressure related ailments
  • Damage from heart attack
  • Heart rate problems and problems with the valves (arrhythmias and valve defects)
  • Abuse of alcohol and drugs
  • Heart infections (endocarditis)
  • Inflammation in the heart (pericarditis)
  • Protein deposits
  • Tissue disorders
  • Chemotherapy
  • Complications in pregnancy
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Disorders like diabetes, thyroid and obesity

How is it diagnosed and treated?

The primary diagnosis involves a physical examination along with screeners for family history and record of previous ailments. After ascertaining the causes, doctors may suggest:

  • X-Ray
  • ECG to check beating of heart and valves
  • Stress test on the treadmill to check symptoms
  • Catheterization to check blood vessels
  • Blood test for function of all organs
  • Genetic testing

Treatment depends on the nature of cardiomyopathy.

  • Medication may be given to lower blood pressure, increase blood flow, slow heart rate and prevent clot formation

Implanted devices:

  1. ICD or implantable cardioverter defibrillator to assess the heart rhythm
  2. VAD or ventricular assist device to help blood circulation
  3. Pacemaker to control arrhythmia
  • Ablation to thin the heart wall and ease blood flow, or to reduce damaged portions which cause arrhythmia
  • Surgical procedures like open heart surgery to remove some heart muscle and improve blood flow, or in extreme cases, heart transplants
  • Lifestyle changes like losing weight, exercise, improved diets, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption, and managing stress and sleep


  1. American Heart Association, American Stroke Association [internet]: Texas, USA AHA: What Is Cardiomyopathy in Adults?
  2. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Cardiomyopathy
  3. Sisakian H. Cardiomyopathies: Evolution of pathogenesis concepts and potential for new therapies. Published online 2014 Jun 26. PMID: 24976920
  4. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Other Related Conditions - Cardiomyopathy
  5. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Cardiomyopathy

Medicines for Cardiomyopathy

Medicines listed below are available for Cardiomyopathy. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

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