By: Prof. Dr. Seyed Saeid Zamanieh Shahri, MD  and  Prof. Dr. Sonia Sayyedalhosseini, MD

Others do not show any signs or symptoms in the early stages of the disease. As cardiomyopathy worsens and the heart weakens, the signs and symptoms of heart failure usually appear. These signs and symptoms include the following:

– Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, especially with physical exertion

– Fatigue

– Swelling in the ankles, legs, abdomen and jugular veins

Other signs and symptoms may include dizziness,

– Fainting during physical activity

– Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)

– Chest pain, especially after physical activity or heavy meals

– Abnormal murmur or heart murmur (murmur is an extra or unusual sound that is heard when the heart is beating).

Causes of cardiomyopathy:

Cardiomyopathy can be acquired or inherited. Acquired means that a person was not born with the disease, but contracted it due to a disease or other factor. Inheritance means that the parents have passed on the disease gene to an individual. Researchers are still looking for genetic links to cardiomyopathy and discovering how these links are created or helped in different types of disease. Often, the cause of cardiomyopathy is unknown. This is often the case when the disease occurs in children.

A) Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is usually inherited. This is caused by a mutation or change in some of the genes of heart muscle proteins. This type of disease can also develop over time due to high blood pressure, aging or other diseases such as diabetes or thyroid disease. Sometimes the cause of the disease is unknown.

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B) The cause of cardiomyopathy is often unknown!

 About one-third of people with dilated cardiomyopathy inherit it from their parents. 

Some diseases, conditions and substances can also cause this disease:

Alcohol, especially when it combines with a poor diet.

Certain toxins such as toxins of heavy metals

Complications in the last months of pregnancy

Ischemic heart disease, heart attack, hypertension, diabetes, thyroid disease, viral hepatitis, HIV

Illegal drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines and some drugs used to treat cancer

Infections, especially viral infections that inflame the heart muscle.

C) Causes of restrictive cardiomyopathy: Some diseases, conditions and factors can cause restrictive cardiomyopathy, including the following:

– Amyloidosis: A disease in which abnormal proteins accumulate in the organs of the body, including the heart.

– Connective tissue disorders

– Hemochromatosis: A disease in which too much iron accumulates in the body. Excess iron is toxic to the body and can damage organs including the heart.

– Sarcoidosis: A disease that causes inflammation and can affect various organs of the body. Researchers believe that an abnormal immune response may cause sarcoidosis. This abnormal response causes the formation of small cell masses in organs of the body, including the heart.

– Some cancers complications, such as radiation and chemotherapy Diagnostic tests for inflammatory heart disease:

Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests to diagnose cardiomyopathy:

Blood Test: During a blood test, a small amount of blood is taken from the body, which is often drawn from a brachial vein using a needle. This method is usually quick and easy, although it may cause short-term discomfort. A blood test gives a person information about the heart and helps them rule out other conditions.

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Eco Cardiography: Echocardiography (echo) is an experiment that uses sound waves to create a moving image of the heart. The image shows how well the heart works and also shows its size and shape. There are several types of echoes, including stress echo. This test is done as part of a stress test.

 Echo stress can indicate whether blood flow to the heart is reduced or a sign of coronary heart disease.

Measuring Stress Test: When the heart is working hard and beating fast, it is easier to diagnose some heart problems. During the stress test, you exercise (if you are not able to exercise, you will be given medication or substitute with another kind of test) so that your heart works and your heart beats faster during the tests. 

These tests may include a nuclear heart scan, echo, and positron emission tomography of the heart.

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