Search Encyclopedia:    
List of Topics Print This Page
 

Restrictive cardiomyopathy


Definition:

Restrictive cardiomyopathy refers to changes in and weakening of the heart muscle, which causes the heart to fill poorly, squeeze poorly, or both.

Alternative Names:

Cardiomyopathy - restrictive; Infiltrative cardiomyopathy

Symptoms:

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

Common symptoms are:

Other symptoms may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Decreased alertness or concentration
  • Low urine production
  • Need to urinate at night (in adults)
Signs and tests:

An examination may show:

  • Enlarged (distended) or bulging neck veins
  • Enlarged liver
  • Lung crackles and abnormal or distant heart sounds when listening to the chest with a stethoscope
  • Fluid backup into the hands and feet
  • Signs of heart failure

Tests for restrictive cardiomyopathy include:

Restrictive cardiomyopathy may be hard to tell apart from constrictive pericarditis. A biopsy of the heart muscle or cardiac catheterization may help confirm the diagnosis, but is not often done.

Treatment:

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

Few treatments are known to be effective for restrictive cardiomyopathy. The main goal of treatment is to control symptoms and improve quality of life.

The following treatments may be used to control symptoms or prevent problems:

  • Blood thinning medications, either aspirin or warfarin
  • Chemotherapy (in some situations)
  • Diuretics to remove fluid and help improve breathing
  • Medications to prevent or control uneven or abnormal heart rhythms
  • Steroids for some causes

A heart transplant may be considered if the heart function is very poor and the patient has severe symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis):

People with this condition often develop heart failure that gets worse. Problems with "leaky" heart valves may also occur.

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.

Calling your health care provider:

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of restrictive cardiomyopathy.

References:

Hare JM. The dilated, restrictive, and infiltrative cardiomyopathies. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 68.


Review Date: 6/4/2012
Reviewed By: 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. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

   View History
  Restrictive cardiomyopathy

   
   

 

About UPHS   Contact Us   Site Map   Privacy Statement   Legal Disclaimer   Terms of Use

The University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, PA 1-800-789-PENN © 2014, The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania