Cardiomyopathy

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cardiomyopathy

[¦kärd·ē·ō‚mī′äp·ə·thē]
(medicine)

Cardiomyopathy

 

(myocardosis), a term often applied to a broad group of heart diseases; specifically, noninflammatory lesions of the heart muscle (myocardium) resulting from a disturbance in myocardial metabolism. Among the causes of cardiomyopathy are nutritional disorders (alimentary dystrophy and avitaminosis, for example); protein metabolism disorders in hepatic or renal insufficiency and podagra; disturbances of carbohydrate metabolism (diabetes mellitus) and electrolyte metabolism; and endocrine disorders such as those associated with thyrotoxicosis and with hypoxia in impairment of coronary circulation, anemia, and mountain sickness. Myocardosis may also be caused by overstraining the myocardium and by exogenous poisons, such as carbon monoxide and alcohol.

In many cases the patient has no specific symptoms in the early stages; however, there may be shortness of breath and disagreeable sensations in the heart. Cardiomyopathy is manifested by dull, distant heart sounds, electrocardiographic changes, systolic murmur, extrasystole, and, more rarely, other types of arrhythmia. Severe cardiomyopathy weakens the heart contractions and may cause cardiac insufficiency. The changes associated with cardiomyopathy are usually reversible and disappear with the elimination of the underlying disease.

The cure includes treatment of the underlying disease and administration of agents that improve metabolic processes in the myocardium.

REFERENCE

Kedrov, A. A. Bolezni myshtsy serdtsa. Leningrad, 1963.

N. R. PALEEV

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