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Cardiomyopathy is a collection of diseases of the heart muscle that can affect people of all ages. It is sometimes referred to as an enlarged heart, given that in the most common type, heart muscle increases in size. However, in other types, the heart muscle may be affected in other ways, such as getting thinner, stiffening or getting replaced with abnormal tissue.
While some people can have cardiomyopathy and not know it, as the condition worsens it can affect the heart’s normal function and lead to potentially life-threatening complications, including:
If you have been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy or are experiencing symptoms, you likely have concerns about what this means. These conditions require specialized treatment and management, so that you can get the highest quality of life.
Henry Ford is a leader in cardiomyopathy care. At our Cardiomyopathy Clinic, we offer the most advanced, multidisciplinary care and personalized treatment available.
There are several main types of the disease, which are defined based on the specific ways that your heart structure changes as a result of the disease:
While these are the main types of the disease, there are several other forms that have specific causes.
These conditions may either be inherited or develop as the result of another disease or other factor, including:
In some cases, you may not experience any symptoms until the disease has progressed. When there are symptoms, they may include:
Cardiomyopathy may be diagnosed through a number of methods, including a thorough medical and family history, and physical exam. Your physician also may order one or more diagnostic tests, including:
Many patients with cardiomyopathy are treated medically. Depending on the specific type and severity of your condition, your personalized treatment plan also may include: