is the most common form of cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle becomes enlarged and
stretched (dilated). This causes the heart to become weak. It can't pump well. Problems
that may occur with DCM include:
Heart rhythm problems
Heart valve disease
Infections lead to inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis). The infections
often from viruses. This is one of the most commonly found causes of DCM. Many other
cases are likely inherited. Many children with DCM have a family member with the
can also be caused by having contact with toxins or very strong medicines, such as
types of chemotherapy used to treat cancer. Gene changes can also be involved in DCM
many cases, the cause for this type of the disease isn't found.
the heart muscle is weak and can't pump enough blood to meet the body's demands, the
body may try to reduce blood flow to some areas of the body. This keeps blood flow
vital organs, such as the brain and kidneys. Areas that may get less blood include
skin and muscles.
are the most common symptoms of DCM:
child's healthcare provider may recommend medicines to:
Help the heart beat better
Decrease the workload of the heart
Decrease the oxygen needs of the heart
Prevent blood clots
Decrease inflammation of the heart
Control heartbeat problems
some cases, DCM caused by a virus gets better over time. In other cases, the condition
gets worse. Your child may need a heart transplant if the heart muscle does not recover.
Talk with your child's provider for more information about your child's case.