Cardiomyopathy (Heart Muscle Disease)

by Victor Chan 9.2

Cardiomyopathy is a type of disease that is caused by deterioration of the myocardium or the actual heart muscle. People that has Cardiomyopathy are at risk of Cardiac dysrhythmia or sudden Cardiac death or even both. Cardiomyopathy has two categories, extrinsic and intrinsic.
The heart on the left is a normal heart, while the one on the right is a heart suffering from Cardiomyopathy

Extrinsic Cardiomyopathy are a more common type of Cardiomyopathy. It is where the primary pathology is outside the myocardium. Meanwhile, intrinsic Cardiomyopathy is defined as weakness inside the muscle of the heart. There are three more specific types of Cardiomyopathy. These are Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Restrictive Cardiomyopathy. Dilated Cardiomyopathy is the most common form. This form can lead to enlargement of the heart, especially the left ventricle, and the pumping function decreases. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is when the muscle thickens, which can get in the way of the blood flow and prevents the heart to pump properly. Restrictive Cardiomyopathy is the most rarest form of Cardiomyopathy. It is when the walls of the ventricles stiffens but not thickens and can resist the normal filling of blood in the heart.

Scientific Name and Common Name

Cardiomyopathy literally means Heart Muscle Disease. "Cardio" is translated to Heart, "Myo" is translated to muscle and "Pathy" is translated to Disease.

What Causes It? How Is It Transmitted?

Cardiomyopathy can be either developed or inherited from your parent's genes. Causes of Dilated Cardiomyopathy include viral infections which inflame the heart's muscle, alcohol, certain toxins and drugs. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy are usually inherited but aging or high blood pressure can also cause it. Causes of Restrictive Cardiomyopathy are Hemochromatosis (when too much iron builds up in your body), Sarcoidosis (swelling or inflammation), Amyloidosis (when abnormal protein builds up in the heart and other organs) and connective tissue disorders. Cardiomyopathy cannot be transmitted from one another, since it is caused by genetic reasons or other types of diseases.

What Are The Symptoms? How Long Does It Last? Is It Deadly?

Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy include chest pain, heart failure, arrhythmias and systemic embolization. Apparently, Cardiomyopathy lasts until you get surgery needed for it or until death. Cardiomyopathy is a very deadly disease. Although it cannot be transmitted but since the heart is one of the most important organs in the body, suffering in cardiomyopathy will result in death. Therefore, consulting a doctor is very important for people with cases of Cardiomyopathy.

Can It Be Cured? If Not, Can It Be Treated?

Cardiomyopathy cannot be cured like a common cold. Although it can be treated with heart medication, pacemaker implants, defibrillators and ventricular assist devices. The usual goal for treatment is symptom relief, but in the end, most cases will require a heart transplant.

For more information about Cardiomyopathy, please watch the videos below.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Restrictive Cardiomyopathy

Dilated Cardiomyopathy


Wikipedia.(2010).Cardiomyopathy.Retrieved, August 24, 2010, from

National Heart Lung And Blood Institute.(2010).Cardiomyopathy.Retrieved, August 24, 2010, from

ResearchChannel.(2010).Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.Retrieved, August 25, 2010, from

USMLEVideosLecturesCK.(2008).Restrictive Cardiomyopathy.Retrieved, August 25, 2010, from

USMLEVideos.(2008).Dilated Cardiomyopathy.Retrieved, August 25, 2010, from