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Dilated cardiomyopathy: In this type of cardiomyopathy, the working ability of the heart’s main pumping chamber — the left ventricle — becomes enlarged (dilated) and can’t effectively pump blood out of the heart.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: This type involves abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, particularly affecting the muscle of your heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle). The thickened heart muscle can make it harder for the heart to work properly.
Restrictive cardiomyopathy: In this type, the heart muscle becomes rigid and less elastic, so it can’t expand and fill with blood between heartbeats.
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia: In this rare type of cardiomyopathy, the muscle in the lower right heart chamber (right ventricle) is replaced by scar tissue, which can lead to heart rhythm problems. It’s often caused by genetic mutations.


  • Chest X-ray. An image of your heart will show whether it’s enlarged.
  • Echocardiogram.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG).
  • Treadmill stress test.
  • Cardiac catheterization.
  • Cardiac MRI.
  • Cardiac CT scan.
  • Blood tests.
  • Genetic testing or screening


Often the cause of the cardiomyopathy is unknown. In some people, however, it’s the result of another condition (acquired) or passed on from a parent (inherited). Contributing factors for acquired cardiomyopathy include:

  • Long-term high blood pressure.
  • Heart tissue damage from a heart attack.
  • Heart valve problems.
  • Obesity, thyroid disease or diabetes.
  • Nutritional deficiencies of essential vitamins or minerals, such as thiamin (vitamin B-1).
  • Drinking too much alcohol over many years.
  • Use of cocaine, amphetamines or anabolic steroids.
  • Use of some chemotherapy drugs and radiation to treat cancer.
  • Certain infections, especially those that inflame the heart.
  • A condition that causes inflammation and can cause lumps of cells to grow in the heart and other organs.
  • A disorder that causes the buildup of abnormal proteins (amyloidosis).


  • Enlarged heart, in heart failure.
  • Blood clots.
  • Valve problems.
  • Cardiac arrest and sudden death.


You reduce your chances of cardiomyopathy and other types of heart disease by living a heart-healthy lifestyle and making lifestyle choices such as:

  • Avoiding the use of alcohol or cocaine.
  • Controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
  • Eating a healthy diet.Getting regular exercise.
  • Getting enough sleep.Reducing your stress.

The goals of cardiomyopathy treatment are to manage your signs and symptoms, prevent your condition from worsening, and reduce your risk of complications. Treatment varies by which type of cardiomyopathy you have. Other procedures used to treat cardiomyopathy or arrhythmia include:

  • Septal ablation.
  • Radiofrequency ablation.