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 THE FIT HEART 

The Way To A Healthy Heart

HEART MUSCLE DISEASES - CARDIOMYOPATHY

Characteristics

Cardiomyopathy is defined as a ' disorder in which heart muscle is structurally and functionally abnormal without coronary artery disease, hypertension, valvular heart disease or congenital heart diseases (heart diseases since birth)'.The degree of cardiac dysfunction ranges from lifelong symptomless forms to major health problems, such as progressive heart failure, arrhythmia (heart rhythm diseases), thromboembolism (formation of blood clots inside heart) and sudden cardiac death.

This group includes:

  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM): the most common form; the left or both ventricles are dilated with impaired contraction.
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM): the second most common; with left and/or right ventricular hypertrophy (increase in thickness of heart muscle), usually uneven in nature.
  • Restrictive Cardiomyopathy (RCM): rare; with restricted filling  of one/both ventricles and normal or near-normal contraction.
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy/Dysplasia (ARVM/ARVD): a progressive genetic cardiomyopathy characterised by progressive fatty and fibrous replacement of ventricular muscle.

 

  • Treatment options are symptomatic and mainly directed towards treatment of heart failure and prevention of thromboembolism and sudden death.
  • Identification of patients with high risk for major arrhythmic events is important because implantable cardioverter defibrillators can prevent sudden death.
  • All patients with cardiomyopathy require a thorough cardiological assessment of functional capacity, cardiac function and risk of serious arrhythmia.
  • In HCM, Surgical myectomy (or, alternatively, alcohol septal ablation) may be considered for relief of outflow obstruction by destroying the excess muscle.
  • Heart transplantation may be necessary in patients with refractory heart failure.