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Ischemic cardiomyopathy

  • Alternative Names

    Ischemic heart disease; Cardiomyopathy - ischemic


    The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and treat the cause of the condition. If symptoms are severe, you may need to stay in the hospital.

    A cardiac catheterization might be done to see if you may benefit from coronary artery bypass (CABG) surgery or a balloon procedure (angioplasty), which could improve blood flow to the damaged or weakened heart muscle.

    The overall treatment of cardiomyopathies is focused on treating heart failure.

    See also: Heart failure

    Drugs and treatments that may be used include:

    • ACE inhibitors such as captopril, enalapril, lisinopril, and ramipril
    • Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) such as losartan and candesartan
    • Diuretics, including thiazide, loop diuretics, and potassium-sparing diuretics
    • Digitalis glycosides
    • Beta-blockers such as carvedilol and metoprolol
    • Drugs that dilate blood vessels (vasodilators), such as isosorbide dinitrate or hydralazine

    Some people may benefit from the following heart devices:

    • Single or dual chamber pacemaker
    • Biventricular pacemaker
    • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
    • Left ventricular assist device (LVAD)

    A low-salt diet may be prescribed for adults. Fluid may be restricted in some cases. You can usually continue your regular activities, if you are able.

    If you smoke or drink alcohol excessively, stop doing so. These habits increase stress on the heart.

    You may be asked to monitor your body weight daily. Weight gain of 3 or more pounds over 1 or 2 days may indicate fluid buildup (in adults).

    A heart transplant may be recommended for patients who have failed all the standard treatments and still have very severe symptoms. Recently, implantable, artificial heart pumps have been developed. However, very few patients are able to undergo either of these advanced treatments.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    This is a very serious disorder. It is a chronic illness that usually gets worse over time. Infection and other stress on your body from other medical illnesses will also cause symptoms to get worse.

    It is very important to discuss your situation with your doctor to ensure that you can improve it as much as possible. You can control symptoms of heart failure and angina with medication, lifestyle changes, and by treating any underlying disorder.

    • Arrhythmias, including lethal arrhythmias
    • Cardiogenic shock

    Calling your health care provider

    Go to the emergency room or call 911 if:

    • You have symptoms of ischemic cardiomyopathy
    • You have chest pain that is not relieved by rest or nitroglycerin
    • You pass out (syncope)