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Alternative Names Return to topCardiomyopathy - restrictive; Infiltrative cardiomyopathy
Definition Return to top
Restrictive cardiomyopathy refers to a group of disorders in which the heart chambers are unable to properly fill with blood because of stiffness in the heart.
Causes Return to top
In restrictive cardiomyopathy, the heart is of normal size or only slightly enlarged. However, it cannot relax normally during the time between heartbeats when the blood returns from the body to the heart (diastole).
Later in the disease, the heart may not pump blood efficiently. The abnormal heart function can affect the lungs, liver, and other body systems. Restrictive cardiomyopathy may affect either or both ventricles. It may be associated with a disease of the heart muscle.
The most common causes of restrictive cardiomyopathy are amyloidosis and scarring of the heart from an unknown cause (idiopathic myocardial fibrosis). It frequently occurs after a heart transplant.
Other causes of restrictive cardiomyopathy include:
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
An examination may show:
Tests for restrictive cardiomyopathy include:
Restrictive cardiomyopathy may be hard to tell apart from constrictive pericarditis. A biopsy of the heart muscle or cardiac catheterization may help confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment Return to top
Few treatmetns are known to be effective for restrictive cardiomyopathy. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms and improve the quality of life.
The following treatments may be used to control symptoms:
A heart transplant may be considered if the heart function is very poor.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
People with restrictive cardiomyopathy may be heart transplant candidates. The outlook depends on the cause of the condition, but it is usually poor. Average survival after diagnosis is 9 years.
Possible Complications Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of restrictive cardiomyopathy.
References Return to top
Hare JM. The Dilated, Restrictive, and Infiltrative Cardiomyopathies. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP. Libby: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 64.Update Date: 5/15/2008 Updated by: Alan Berger, MD, Assistant Professor, Divisions of Cardiology and Epidemiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.