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.
Cardiomyopathy - restrictive; Infiltrative cardiomyopathy
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 of heart failure are most common. Usually, these symptoms develop slowly over time. However, sometimes symptoms start very suddenly and are severe.
Common symptoms are:
Other symptoms may include:
An examination may show:
Children will have:
Tests for restrictive cardiomyopathy include:
When the cause of any cardiomyopathy can be found, that condition is treated.
Few treatments are known to be effective for restrictive cardiomyopathy. The main goal of treatment is to control symptoms and improve quality of life.
The following treatments may be used to control symptoms or prevent problems:
A heart transplant may be considered if the heart function is very poor and the patient has many symptoms.
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.
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of restrictive cardiomyopathy.
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Wexler RK, Elton T, Pleister A, Feldman D. Cardiomyopathy: An overview. Am Fam Physician. 2009;79:778-784.
Bernstein D. Diseases of the myocardium. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 439.