Prognosis and Management

  • E. M. Gilbert
  • A. Di Lenarda
  • J. B. O’Connell


Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease of unknown etiology that principally affects the myocardium [1]. The diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy is established by the presence of left ventricular dilatation and systolic dysfunction in the absence of congenital, coronary, valvular, or pericardial heart disease [2]. In some patients the development of dilated cardiomyopathy is associated with clinical factors such as alcoholism, pregnancy or a family history of cardiomyopathy [1,2]. However, dilated cardiomyopathy is distinct from specific heart muscle disease (“secondary myocardial disease”), which occurs with a specific systemic disorder that may be metabolic, collagen-vascular, infiltrative, neuromuscular, inflammatory, or neoplastic in origin [1, 2] (see Chap. 1). There are currently no specific gross anatomic, histologic, or ultrastructural morphologic features which can differentiate dilated cardiomyopathy from other causes of heart failure [3]. Since dilated cardiomyopathy is defined clinically, it is likely that several specific etiologies are responsible for this condition. It is therefore not surprising that patients with dilated cardiomyopathy have a heterogeneous clinical presentation and prognosis.


Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction Cardiac Index Dilate Cardiomyopathy Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitor Endomyocardial Biopsy 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. M. Gilbert
  • A. Di Lenarda
  • J. B. O’Connell

There are no affiliations available

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