Having cardiomyopathy may lead to other heart conditions, including:
Mar. 17, 2015
- Heart failure. Heart failure means your heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs. The thickened, stiffened or weakened heart muscle due to cardiomyopathy can become unable to pump or can stop blood from flowing out of the heart. Left untreated, heart failure can be life-threatening.
Blood clots. Because your heart can't pump effectively, you're more likely to have blood clots form in your heart if you have cardiomyopathy. If clots are pumped out of the heart and enter your bloodstream, they can block the blood flow to other organs, including your heart and brain.
To reduce your risk, your doctor may prescribe a blood thinner (anticoagulant medication), such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), apixaban (Eliquis), dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto) or warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven).
- Valve problems. Because people with cardiomyopathy have an enlarged heart, the heart valves may not close properly, leading to a backward flow of blood.
- Cardiac arrest and sudden death. Cardiomyopathy can lead to abnormal heart rhythms. Some of these heart rhythms are too slow to keep blood flowing through your heart effectively, and some are too fast to allow the heart to beat properly. In either case, these abnormal heart rhythms can result in fainting or, in some cases, sudden death if your heart stops beating effectively.
- Longo DL, et al. Cardiomyopathy and myocarditis. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Feb. 2, 2015.
- What is cardiomyopathy? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cm/printall-index.html. Accessed Feb. 3, 2015.
- Cooper LT. Definition and classification of the cardiomyopathies. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 4, 2015.
- Yancy CW, et al. 2013 ACCF/AHA guideline for the management of heart failure: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines. Circulation. 2013;128:e240.
- Gersh BJ, et al. 2011 ACCF/AHA guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2011;58:e212.
- Colucci WS. Evaluation of the patient with heart failure or cardiomyopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 2, 2015.
- Sisakian H. Cardiomyopathies: Evolution of pathogenesis concepts and potential for new therapies. World Journal of Cardiology. 2014;6:478.
- McKenna WJ. Treatment and prognosis of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 4, 2015.
- Prevention and treatment of cardiomyopathy. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/Cardiomyopathy/Prevention-and-Treatment-of-Cardiomyopathy_UCM_444176_Article.jsp. Accessed Feb. 5, 2015.
- Why arrhythmia matters. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/WhyArrhythmiaMatters/Why-Arrhythmia-Matters_UCM_002023_Article.jsp. Accessed Feb. 5, 2015.
- How are arrhythmias treated? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/arr/treatment. Accessed Feb. 5, 2015.
- Mankad R (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 4, 2015.
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