Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is the term use to describe a disease of the heart muscle. In most cases of cardiomyopathy, the heart loses its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. In some cases, due to stiffness, the heart loses its ability to fill up with blood. The condition can be divided into 2 categories: genetic (inherited) or acquired. Cardiomyopathy is a major cause of heart failure and one of the commonest conditions leading to the need for heart transplantation. It can cause abnormal heart rhythms that can be potentially life-threatening. It can affect people of all ages and all races. Genetic testing has been a crucial break-through in our understanding of the condition. By the identification of specific genes, we can predict the propensity for the development of the condition. In addition, the the advancement of imaging techniques, we are able to plan the best treatment options.
New drugs are being developed to treat patients with some forms of cardiomyopathy.

The condition can also be divided into 2 broad categories: ischaemic (damaged heart muscle due to blockages in coronary arteries. The non-ischaemic form is not related to blockages in coronary arteries. These include:

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Restrictive cardiomyopathy
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia

Other types that fall outside the above classifications include:

  • Stress-induced (Takotsubo) cardiomyopathy
  • Chemotherapy-induced Cardiomyopathy
  • Peripartum Cardiomyopathy

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