Cardiomyopathies, diseases of the heart muscle, can occur with or without a known cause, can be present without signs or symptoms, and can cause serious heart problems, including life-threatening arrhythmias, mitral valve disease, and heart failure. Identifying the disease early and working with cardiologists who are experts in its diagnosis and management can help prevent cardiomyopathy from progressing and causing serious complications.
Choosing the right treatment depends on the type of cardiomyopathy you have. Duke cardiologists are experts in diagnosing and treating all types of cardiomyopathy.
The most common type of cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart muscle wall thickens. This forces the heart to work harder and sometimes restricts the flow of blood leaving the heart (called outflow obstruction). It often goes undiagnosed because many people have no or only mild symptoms. It has been tied to sudden death in young athletes, but it can affect people of all ages and activity levels. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may have a genetic cause.
This type of cardiomyopathy affects your heart’s strength and ability to pump normally. The heart size is larger, but muscle walls are thinner and weaker than normal.
This rare condition occurs when the lower chambers of the heart become rigid and stiff, which restricts the heart from filling with blood during muscle relaxation. This also affects your heart’s ability to pump normally.