- Doctors use the term cardiomyopathy to describe a chronic disorder of the heart muscle’s function that reduces the amount of blood the heart is able to pump.
- A weakened heart responds to a reduced output of blood by dilating, or enlarging, to hold more blood.
- Although there are several types of cardiomyopathy, the most common form is dilated cardiomyopathy
- Dilated cardiomyopathy is a common cause of congestive heart failure, the name for a range of symptoms that accompany a weakened heart.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a chronic disorder that occurs when the main pumping chamber of the heart (the left ventricle) dilates, meaning it stretches. Consequently, the inside of the chamber becomes larger. The heart no longer contracts normally and cannot pump blood very well. As the heart becomes weaker, heart failure can occur.