Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a condition in which the heart's ability to pump blood is decreased because the heart's main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, is enlarged and weakened. In some cases, it prevents the heart from relaxing and filling with blood as it should. Over time, it can affect the other heart chambers.
Symptoms of DCM can occur at any age and may include:Heart failure symptoms (shortness of breath and fatigue).Swelling of the lower extremities.Fatigue (feeling overly tired).Weight gain.Fainting (caused by conditions such as irregular heart rhythms, abnormal responses of the blood vessels during exercise, or no cause may be found).Palpitations (fluttering in the chest due to abnormal heart rhythms).Dizziness or lightheadedness.Blood clots can form in the dilated left ventricle as a result of pooling of the blood. If a blood clot breaks off, it can lodge in an artery and disrupt blood flow to the brain, causing stroke. A clot can also block blood flow to the organs in the abdomen or legs.Chest pain or pressure.Sudden death.
Treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy is aimed at decreasing the heart size and the substances in the bloodstream that enlarge the heart and ultimately lead to worsened symptoms: Medications: To manage heart failure, most people improve by taking drugs, such as a beta-blocker,ACE inhibitoror an ARB, and/or diuretics. If you have an arrhythmia (irregular heart beat), your doctor may give you a medication to control your heart rate or lessen the occurrence of arrhythmias. Blood thinners may be used to prevent blood clots from occurring.