Cardiomyopathy is a chronic condition of the heart muscle that often results in heart failure.
A very common cause of cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart muscle is chronically deprived of adequate blood flow and oxygen. This is called ischemic cardiomyopathy. Other conditions including viral infections of the heart or chronic alcoholism can also be associated with cardiomyopathy.
Often the condition can be treated with heart drugs. The most common causes of a cardiomyopathy result in a very weakened heart. The medications given to patients with a cardiomyopathy help improve the heart function and the symptoms of heart failure. In more severe cases, a heart transplant may be necessary.
Patients with cardiomyopathy have changes in the heart muscle itself.
Related LinksNational Library of Medicine
The National Library of Medicine presents information and pictures about cardiomyopathy.