Restrictive cardiomyopathy

Alternative Names

Cardiomyopathy – restrictive; Infiltrative cardiomyopathy

Definition of Restrictive cardiomyopathy

Restrictive cardiomyopathy refers to a group of disorders in which the heart chambers are unable to properly fill with blood because of stiffness in the heart.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

In restrictive cardiomyopathy, the heart is of normal size or only slightly enlarged. However, it cannot relax normally during the time between heartbeats when the blood returns from the body to the heart (diastole).

Symptoms

Symptoms of heart failure are most common. Usually, these symptoms develop slowly over time. However, sometimes symptoms start very suddenly and are severe.

Signs and tests

An examination may show:

Treatment

When the cause of any cardiomyopathy can be found, that condition is treated.

Expectations (prognosis)

People with restrictive cardiomyopathy may be heart transplant candidates. The outlook depends on the cause of the condition, but it is usually poor. Average survival after diagnosis is 9 years.

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

Heart, section through the middle
Heart, front view

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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