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Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) usually presents with one or more of the following; i) heart failure with symptoms of congestion (edema, orthopnea or paroxysmal dyspnea); ii) reduced cardiac output, such as fatigue or dyspnea on exertion; arrhythmias and/or conduction system disease; iii) thromboembolic disease, mainly from left ventricular mural thrombus, including stroke. However, individuals with DCM may also be asymptomatic. The diagnosis of DCM is established by the finding of both left ventricular enlargement and systolic dysfunction, primarily determined by echocardiogram to measure cardiac chamber dimensions, ventricular thickness and ejection fraction.
The prevalence of idiopathic DCM in the general population is at least 1/2,700. Dilated cardiomyopathy is due to inherited (genetic) or acquired (environmental or non-genetic) causes. DCM is most commonly due to acquired causes, such as ischemic injury from myocardial infarction, secondary to underlying coronary artery disease, or a variety of other
insults or inflammatory conditions that cause damage to the myocardium. Hereditary DCM is characterized by left ventricular enlargement and systolic dysfunction, or a reduction in the myocardial force of contraction, in the absence of other cardiac, systemic or environmental causes. It is thought that approximately 20-50% of idiopathic DCM cases have a genetic basis.