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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Mechanisms
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Signs, Symptoms and Treatment
Cardiomyopathy is a broad term used to describe a variety of issues that result from disease of the myocardium.
When cardiomyopathy develops as a way to compensate for some other underlying disease, like hypertension or valve diseases, it’s called secondary cardiomyopathy, but when it develops all by itself it’s called primary cardiomyopathy.
Now, there are three main types of cardiomyopathy. The most common type is dilated cardiomyopathy, that’s where all four chambers of the heart dilate, or get bigger, and the heart walls become thin and lose contractility.
Next up is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and that’s where the walls get thick, heavy, and hypercontractile.
Finally, there’s restrictive cardiomyopathy which is where the heart muscle is restricted, meaning it becomes stiff and less compliant, and that prevents the heart from filling properly.
The muscles and size of the ventricles, though, stay about the same size and only get slightly enlarged.
Restrictive cardiomyopathy may be idiopathic or secondary to a disorder that either deposits harmful substances, like iron or amyloid, in the heart tissue, or there’s fibrosis caused by immune cells or radiation.
In all three types of cardiomyopathy, over time the heart may be unable to do its job effectively, leading to heart failure signs and symptoms like: fatigue, dyspnea, and swelling of the feet.
Individuals may also develop acute symptoms like presyncope or syncope, which is a sudden loss of consciousness usually lasting a few seconds. These individuals are at an increased risk of myocardial infarction.
And because cardiomyopathies affect the cardiac muscle as well as the pacemaker cells that run through the cardiac muscle - they can lead to arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation, ventricular ectopic beats, ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation, and atrioventricular block.
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