Enlargement of the left ventricle and its inability to pump blood efficiently can cause any of the following complications:

  • Heart failure. Dilated cardiomyopathy can cause poor blood flow from the left ventricle, leading to heart failure.
  • Heart valve regurgitation. Enlargement of the left ventricle may make it harder for your heart valves to close, causing a backward flow of blood. This makes the heart pump less effectively, which can lead to heart failure.
  • Edema. Dilated cardiomyopathy can cause fluid buildup in the lungs, abdomen, legs and feet (edema), because your heart can't pump as effectively as a healthy heart.
  • Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmias). Changes in heart structure and changes in pressure on the heart's chambers can cause heart rhythm problems (arrhythmia).
  • Sudden cardiac arrest. Dilated cardiomyopathy can cause your heart to suddenly stop beating.
  • Embolism. Pooling of blood (stasis) in the left ventricle can lead to blood clots (emboli), which may enter the bloodstream, cut off the blood supply to vital organs, and cause stroke, heart attack or damage to other organs.
Sep. 16, 2011

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