Many people have cardiomyopathy without displaying any symptoms, whereas others may experience breathlessness, dizziness, fainting, tiredness, chest pain, palpitations, and in some cases swelling in the abdomen and ankles.
Your cardiologist will explore your family’s health history and you would normally have an ECG (electrocardiogram) and either an echocardiogram or MRI/CMR scan. As cardiomyopathy can be inherited, it may be that we would recommend that your first degree relatives are advised to have screening tests as well (ECG and echocardiography).
Unfortunately there is no cure for cardiomyopathy; however many people take medication to alleviate the symptoms. Medication regularly prescribed includes anti-coagulants to thin the blood and reduce the risk of blood clots, diuretics to reduce the build-up of fluid, and beta-blockers to reduce the heart rate.
Some people will have a medical device inserted into their body during a surgical procedure, either a pacemaker that controls the rhythm of the heart or an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) which controls the rhythm and shocks the heart if the rhythm changes from normal to a dangerous rhythm.
In a small number of cases, people undergo surgery to remove some heart muscle if it affects blood flow, and in very few situations people have to have a heart transplant.
This is an invasive procedure to block the electrical signals causing atrial fibrillation and to restore sinus rhythm. [READ MORE]
This procedure blocks the electrical signals that cause a fluttering heartbeat and restores sinus rhythm. [READ MORE]
This scan is used to ascertain the risk of a heart attack or stroke within the next 5-10 years. [READ MORE]
An ‘echo’ is an ultrasound scan of the heart to assess structure and function. [READ MORE]
An ECG is a simple test that looks at the electrical activity of the heart. [READ MORE]
This is an artificial device implanted in the chest to detect and correct a potentially dangerous heartbeat. [READ MORE]
These scans enable cardiologists to view detailed images of the heart’s anatomy. [READ MORE]
This is an artificial device that is implanted in the chest to regulate an abnormal heartbeat. [READ MORE]
This is a procedure that uses ‘echo’ and ECG to assess how the heart’s blood vessels are working using either exercise or a drug to increase the heart rate. [READ MORE]
Sometimes an ‘echo’ scan of the heart requires an ultrasound probe to be passed down the food pipe to provide a clearer image. [READ MORE]