Cardiomyopathy
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Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy Types

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There are many types of cardiomyopathy; which kind you have depends on the problem with your heart.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

This type of cardiomyopathy causes the heart muscle to become larger and thicker than normal. The thickened areas can block the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart), making it harder for the heart to pump blood.

 a healthy heart and a heart muscle that is larger and thicker because of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The image above shows a healthy heart and a heart muscle that is larger and thicker because of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Medical Illustration Copyright ©️ 2022 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.

 

Dilated cardiomyopathy

This is a common condition that happens when the ventricles in the heart weaken and get larger. The weakened ventricles don’t pump well, and this makes your heart work harder. 

a healthy heart and a heart with dilated cardiomyopathy. This condition causes the lower chambers of the heart to become larger and weaker.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy. The image above shows a healthy heart and a heart with dilated cardiomyopathy. This condition causes the lower chambers of the heart to become larger and weaker. Medical Illustration Copyright © 2022 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved

Another type of cardiomyopathy called peripartum cardiomyopathy can occur during or after pregnancy. This happens most often late in pregnancy or a few months after giving birth.

Peripartum cardiomyopathy is rare but serious. Visit our Pregnancy and Cardiomyopathy page to learn what raises your risk and how to recognize the warning signs.

Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy

This rare condition develops when fatty or scarred tissue replaces the normal muscle tissue in the right ventricle. This can cause an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy usually affects teens or young adults, and it raises the risk for cardiac arrest. In fact, it is the most common cause of sudden death in young people and in athletes.

Restrictive cardiomyopathy

This rare type of cardiomyopathy causes the ventricles to stiffen, but the walls of the heart do not thicken. Because of this, the ventricles don’t relax and don’t fill with enough blood to pump to the rest of the body. Transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy is a rare type of restrictive cardiomyopathy that is more common in African-American men.

Left ventricular noncompaction

This rare type of cardiomyopathy occurs when the left ventricle develops muscle that is both smooth, as it should be, and loose, like a thick web. The loose muscle can extend into the left ventricle. This weakens the heart muscle and prevents the heart from pumping enough blood to the rest of the body.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or broken heart syndrome

This rare condition develops when extreme stress causes the heart muscle to stop working properly. This condition affects more women than men and is more common after menopause.

Learn more about how the heart works.

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