Is Dilated Cardiomyopathy Progressive?

Is Dilated Cardiomyopathy Progressive?

Dilated cardiomyopathy is progressive heart disease. The occurrence is due to enlargement and contractile dysfunction of the left ventricular chamber. The right ventricle also suffers dysfunction in many cases. It is also the critical reason behind heart transplantation and the third standard feature for causing heart failure.

Is Dilated Cardiomyopathy Progressive?

Signs and Symptoms Of Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Presence of symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy will be helpful in understanding the severity of the condition. In many cases, dilated cardiomyopathy goes unnoticed because of the absence of symptoms. Nonetheless, symptoms include the following:

How to Find Out The Presence Of Dilated Cardiomyopathy?

The doctor is capable of confirming the presence of dilated cardiomyopathy by performing a physical examination, which helps in looking for signs of volume overload and heart failure. With the help of the stethoscope, the doctor listens to the heart murmurs and cracking sounds in the lungs. In addition to it, the doctor also performs diagnostic tests to understand the complications and the severity.

It is also possible for the doctor to look for other findings which help in determining which signs are present. These include:

The additional examination involves looking at the following conditions on the neck:

  • Large CV wave
  • Goiter
  • Hepatojugular reflux
  • Jugular venous distention

Findings of the heart upon examination may include:

  • Murmurs
  • Cardiomegaly
  • Tachycardia
  • Irregular rhythm
  • Gallop’s


When a doctor suspects the presence of a dilated cardiomyopathy in a patient, one may perform the following:

  • Complete blood count
  • Thyroid function tests
  • Comprehensive metabolic panel
  • Cardiac biomarkers
  • Chest radiography
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • MRI


Treating dilated cardiomyopathy is similar to that of treating chronic heart failure. A few of the interventions treat the symptoms while others are capable of treating the factors that affect the survival. Drug classes include the following:

  • Beta-blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
  • Angiotensin ii receptor blockers
  • Aldosterone antagonists
  • Vasodilators
  • Antiarrhythmics
  • Nitrates
  • Neprilysin inhibitor

In a few situations, the doctor also prescribes anticoagulants depending on the severity and the condition of the patient. Surgical procedures are mandatory for those who show no signs of improvement upon using the medicines. Surgical procedure includes:

  • Temporary mechanical circulatory support
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy
  • Heart transplantation
  • Automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillators
  • Left ventricular assist devices
  • Ventricular restoration surgery

Dilated cardiomyopathy is one among the four classes of cardiomyopathy. Nonetheless, the evolution of classification continues to evolve based on the recently described diseases and growth of molecular genetics. The causes for the occurrence of dilated cardiomyopathy are multiple. One or more of the causes are responsible for the disease. All the causes affect the functionality of the myocardium, which is a response in varying degrees to compensate for the malfunction.

The time course and degree of malfunction are variable. Individuals diagnosed with cardiomyopathy may have left ventricular systolic dysfunction, left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, or both. When the compensatory mechanisms fail to maintain the cardiac output, the disease progression expressed with the symptoms represents the condition as chronic heart failure.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a complex disease and affects the health of the heart of a person regardless of the age. It is the common diagnosis in people receiving supplemental financial assistance in the United States under the US Medicare program.


The condition differs from one individual to other and depends on age, gender, overall health, and ethnicity. Nonetheless, lifestyle changes and medicines are helpful in controlling and halting the progression.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 17, 2018

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