In cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle can become enlarge, thick, or rigid, and in some rare incidents the muscle tissue can become replaced with scar tissue. As the condition worsens, the heart becomes weaker and less able to pump blood throughout the body. The heart will also become unable to maintain a normal electrical rhythm. Results from cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure or irregular heartbeats called arrthymias (American Heart Association, 2016).
Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common type of cardiomyopathy, occurring in adults between the ages of 20-60. It affects more of the male population then the female population. Dilated cardiomyopathy affects the heart’s lower (ventricles) and upper (atria) chambers of the heart. The disease starts in the left ventricle (heart’s main pumping chamber). As the chamber dilates, the heart muscle doesn’t contract normally and can’t pump blood very well. The inside of the chamber enlarges and the problem often spreads to the right ventricle and then to the atria (Elliot. 2000).
Signs and symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy
• Systemic embolism ( blood clot in arterial circulation)
• Pulmonary congestion (excess fluid in the lungs)
• Low cardiac output
• Fatigue for many months or years
• Intercurrent illness
• Development of arrhythmias
• Sudden death (Elliot, 2000)
Myocarditis an inflammation of the heart muscle is known to be a cause of dilated cardiomyopathy. A carnitine and calcium deficiency can also lead to dilated cardiomy...
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...rt transplantation is the only effective surgery offered for patients with RCM, particularly those who already have symptoms at the time of diagnosis or have reactive pulmonary hypertension (Goldstein, 2014).
Prognosis for cardiomyopathy is based on the different types. For dilated cardiomyopathy the prognosis is poor. 50% of patients die within 2 years of diagnosis and 25% survive longer than five years with treatment. The common cause of death for dilated cardiomyopathy is progressive heart failure and arrthymia. The overall annual mortality rate for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is 3-5% in adult and at least 6% in children. Severity of disease and prognosis varies according to the genetic features associated with HCM. Restrictive cardiomyopathy has a very poor prognosis with patients dying within a year of the diagnosis even with treatment (Oakley, 1997).
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