Dilated Cardiomyopathy

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  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is defined by the presence of a dilated and poorly functioning left ventricle in the absence of abnormal loading conditions (hypertension or valve disease) or ischaemic heart disease. The prognosis has improved substantially during the last decade due to more accurate aetiological characterisation and early diagnosis through systematic familial screening.

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    Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is defined by the presence of a dilated and poorly functioning left ventricle in the absence of abnormal loading conditions (hypertension or valve disease) or ischaemic heart disease. The prognosis has improved substantially during the last decade due to more accurate aetiological characterisation and early diagnosis through systematic familial screening.

    Treatment includes improving left ventricular function and cardiac output, and controlling arrhythmias and thromboemboli, as well as inotropic therapy, preload reduction and afterload reduction. For patients with symptomatic disease, diuretics, digoxin and angiotension-converting enzyme inhibitors are recommended for first-line therapy. Patients with arrhythmias may be treated with amiodarone, a pacemaker or an ICD, and most will also need anticoagulation.

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