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Dilated cardiomyopathy

Other Names for this Disease
  • DCM
  • Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy
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Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle which primarily affects the heart's main pumping chamber, the left ventricle.[1] It is the most common type of cardiomyopathy and typically affects those aged 20 to 60.[2] The left ventricle of affected individuals becomes enlarged (dilated) and cannot pump blood to the body with as much force as a healthy heart can. The heart muscle also has difficulty contracting normally, which can lead to irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia), blood clots, or sudden death.[1][2] Over time, the heart becomes weaker and heart failure can occur.[2] While the cause of dilated cardiomyopathy is often unknown (idiopathic), some cases are acquired or inherited.[1][2]
Last updated: 9/29/2011


  1. Dilated cardiomyopathy. September 2011; Accessed 9/29/2011.
  2. What is Cardiomyopathy?. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). January 2011; Accessed 9/29/2011.
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Basic Information

  • provides information about dilated cardiomyopathy. Click on the above link to access this information.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition. Click on the link to view the information.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Dilated cardiomyopathy. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.