Heart Disease: Dilated Cardiomyopathy

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Dilated Cardiomyopathy Definition

A disorder in which the chambers of the heart are dilated (enlarged) because the heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump effectively. There are many causes, the most common being myocardial ischemia (not enough oxygen supplied to the heart muscle) due to coronary artery disease.

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What Is Dilated Cardiomyopathy?

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a condition in which the heart's ability to pump blood is decreased because the heart's main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, is enlarged and weakened. In some cases, it prevents the heart from relaxing and filling with blood as it should. Over time, it can affect the other heart chambers.

What Are the Symptoms of DCM?

Many people with dilated cardiomyopathy have no symptoms or only minor symptoms, and live a normal life. Other people develop symptoms, which may progress and worsen as heart function worsens.

Symptoms of DCM can occur at any age and may include:

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