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.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer George Philippides, MD - Cardiology
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine

Current as ofOctober 5, 2017

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.
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