Cardiomyopathy is a family of diseases that all make it difficult for the heart to pump blood properly. There are different kinds of cardiomyopathy.
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.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a common cause of congestive heart failure, the name for a range of symptoms that accompany a weakened heart.
Restrictive cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart muscle becomes stiff and not able to fill with blood properly. It is the least common type of cardiomyopathy in the U.S.
Ischemic cardiomyopathy is caused by coronary artery disease and heart attacks. The heart muscle becomes damaged due to blockages in the coronary arteries and it leads to cardiomyopathy.
Non-ischemic cardiomyopathy refers to forms of cardiomyopathy not related to known coronary artery disease. The four types of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy include dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, restrictive cardiomyopathy and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD).