Dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, is a heart muscle disease. The result is reduced pumping function, an enlargement (dilation) of the left ventricle or both ventricles of the heart and, very frequently, the development of heart failure.
There are two main categories of causes for DCM:
- The first category is referred to as “primary causes”. This means that there is something fundamentally wrong with the heart muscle. Genetic causes fall in this category.
- The second category is referred to as “secondary causes” which are diseases or conditions that damage the heart muscle. Examples of this include heart attack, toxins (specific drugs), certain heart rhythm abnormalities, and infection.
To learn more, the DCM Foundation website contains fact-based information to help DCM patients and their family members better navigate a DCM diagnosis.