Dilated cardiomyopathy

Inside view of a normal heart and a heart with chambers larger than normal

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a serious condition that weakens your heart muscle and causes it to stretch, or dilate. The heart's upper and lower chambers (atria and ventricles) are larger than normal.

When your heart muscle is weak, it can't pump out blood as well as it should, so more blood stays in your heart after each heartbeat. As more blood fills and stays in the heart, the heart muscle stretches even more and gets even weaker.

Current as ofJuly 22, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
George Philippides MD - Cardiology

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

Thanks to our partners and endorsers: