Cardiomyopathy, or heart muscle disease, is a type of progressive heart disease in which the heart is abnormally enlarged, thickened, and/or stiffened. As a result, the heart's ability to pump blood is weakened, often causing heart failure and the backup of blood into the lungs or rest of the body. There are three main types of cardiomyopathy - dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and restrictive cardiomyopathy. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage of what cardiomyopathy looks like, how it develops, how it is treated, and much more.
Using Beta-Blockers to Treat Heart Failure
Beta-blockers are drugs that improve the heart's ability to relax. Learn how this medication is used to treat heart failure.
Heart Disease and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Learn more from WebMD about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, thickening of the heart muscle, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
High Blood Pressure and Hypertensive Heart Disease
WebMD explains hypertensive heart disease -- the number one cause of death associated with high blood pressure.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy-Topic Overview
What is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (say hy-per-TROH-fik kar-dee-oh-my-AWP-uh-thee) happens when the heart muscle grows too thick, so the heart gets bigger and its chambers get smaller. Many people have no symptoms and live a normal life with few problems. But in some people with this condition:The heart doesn't get enough blood and oxygen, which can cause chest pain. A fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat (arrhythmia) develops. In rare cases, this can cause sudden death. The heart doesn't pump blood well, or it doesn't relax between beats as it should. In rare cases, this can lead to heart failure.People who exercise often and hard may have changes in their heart muscle that can be confused with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This condition is called athlete's heart syndrome. It is harmless. When an athlete stops training, the heart will return to a normal size. What causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?Certain genes cause the heart to grow more than it should.
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Illustration copyright 2000 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com In hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle is enlarged, resulting in smaller heart chambers that cannot pump blood effectively. ...
Image copyright 2000 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.comIn dilated cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle is thinner, resulting in enlarged heart chambers that cannot pump blood effectively. ...