Ischemic cardiomyopathy

Alternative Names

Ischemic heart disease; Cardiomyopathy – ischemic

Definition of Ischemic cardiomyopathy

Ischemic cardiomyopathy is a term that doctors use to describe patients who have reduced heart pumping (squeezing) due to coronary artery disease. These patients often have congestive heart failure.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Ischemic cardiomyopathy results when the arteries that bring blood and oxygen to the heart are blocked. There is usually a buildup of cholesterol and other substances, called plaque, in the arteries that bring oxygen to heart muscle tissue. Over time, the heart muscle does not work well, and it is more difficult for the heart to fill and pump blood to the body.

Symptoms

Patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy often have symptoms of angina or heart failure.

Signs and tests

The physical examination may be normal, or it may reveal signs of fluid buildup:

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and treat the cause of the condition. If symptoms are severe, you may need to stay in the hospital.

Expectations (prognosis)

This is a very serious disorder. It is a chronic illness that usually gets worse over time. Infection and other stress on your body from other medical illnesses will also cause symptoms to get worse.

Review

Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/17/2010

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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