Definition

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disorder of the heart muscle, predominantly impacting your heart’s major pumping chamber (left ventricle).

Dilated cardiomyopathy doesn’t necessarily cause symptoms, but also for many individuals the disorder is life threatening. Dilated cardiomyopathy is a typical source of heart failure, the inability of the heart to provide the body’s organs and tissue with enough blood.

Dilated cardiomyopathy may impact folks of most ages, including kids and babies. Treatments could be readily available for the inherent reason behind dilated cardiomyopathy, or to decrease symptoms and enhance blood circulation.

Do You Know the Observable symptoms of DCM?

Lots of people with dilated cardiomyopathy have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, and live an ordinary life. Others develop symptoms, which might advance and worsen as heart function worsens.

Symptoms of DCM can happen at any given age and might contain:

  • Swelling of the low extremities.
  • Tiredness (feeling too tired).
  • Weight gain.
  • Fainting (caused by conditions like irregular heart rhythms, unusual reactions of the arteries during exercise, or no cause could be found).
  • Palpitations (fluttering in the chest as a result of abnormal heart rhythms).
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Sudden death.

If your blood clot breaks off, it could lodge within an artery and interrupt blood circulation to the mind, causing stroke. A clot may also obstruct blood circulation to the organs in the abdomen or legs.

Causes

Dilated cardiomyopathy happens when your heart’s major pumping chamber (the left ventricle) doesn’t pump as efficiently as a healthier heart. Dilating induces the heart muscle to weaken, and over time, heart failure can be caused by the condition.

Frequently, the reason for dilated cardiomyopathy can’t be discovered. Such instances are called idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.

There are quite a lot of conditions that will bring about the left ventricle to weaken and dilate. One example is damage occurring during a heart attack. Strictly speaking, this isn’t cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is an issue impacting the heart muscle. Damage occurring after having a difficulty like a heart attack is regarded as a secondary cause. However, lots of people utilize the definition of cardiomyopathy to spell out secondary causes of heart muscle weakness.

Some known causes of dilated cardiomyopathy are:

  • Genetics. A host of genes are linked to dilated cardiomyopathy.
  • Birth defects. Specific heart defects which exist at birth (congenital) may cause dilated cardiomyopathy.
  • Illnesses. A variety of kinds of diseases, including those caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites, may cause dilated cardiomyopathy.
  • Substance and alcohol misuse. Dilated cardiomyopathy may result from long term usage of alcohol or prohibited drugs, including cocaine.
  • Specific cancer drugs. Some drugs that are found in chemotherapy can cause dilated cardiomyopathy.
  • Vulnerability to toxins. This illness may also be brought on by exposure to some poisonous compounds and metals, for example mercury, lead and cobalt.

Risk factors

Several variables can alter and enlarge your heart’s major pumping chamber (left ventricle). The risk factors for dilated cardiomyopathy comprise:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Hardening and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Heart valve troubles
  • Injury to the heart muscle from an earlier heart attack
  • Fast heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Family history of dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Alcoholism
  • Specific chemotherapy drugs for healing cancer
  • Cocaine misuse
  • Viral or bacterial diseases of the heart muscle
  • Metabolic disorders, like thyroid disease or diabetes
  • Consuming an excessive amount of iron in the food that you eat (hemachromatosis)
  • Nutritional wants of vital vitamins and minerals
  • Metals along with other hazardous compounds, for example mercury, lead and arsenic
  • Neuromuscular ailments, including muscular dystrophy
  • Pregnancy

Management

Treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy is fundamentally exactly like treatment of chronic heart failure (CHF). Symptoms are treated by some therapeutic interventions, whereas others treat variables which influence survival.

Drug types used contain the following:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Beta blockers
  • Aldosterone antagonists
  • Cardiac glycosides
  • Diuretics
  • Vasodilators
  • Antiarrhythmics
  • Human B-type natriuretic peptide
  • Inotropic agents
  • Anticoagulants might be used in selected patients.

Surgical choices for patients with disease refractory to medical treatment are the following:

  • Left ventricular assist devices
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy (biventricular pacing)
  • Automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillators
  • Ventricular restoration operation
  • Heart transplantation