Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
12 years ago
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle, usually starting in left ventricle. The ventricle stretches and thins (dilates) and can't pump blood as well as a healthy heart can. The decreased heart function can affect the lungs, liver, and other body systems. Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common form of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. It might not cause symptoms, but for some people it can be life-threatening. A common cause of heart failure — the heart's inability to supply the body with enough blood — dilated cardiomyopathy can also contribute to irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), blood clots or sudden death. A person suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy may have an enlarged heart, with pulmonary edema and an elevated jugular venous pressure and a low pulse pressure. Signs of mitral and tricuspid regurgitation may be present. A fast heart rate with no change during the respiratory cycle may also be found. The condition affects people of all ages, including infants and children, but is most common in men ages 20 to 60.