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Heart Muscle Disease (Cardiomyopathy)

Cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the heart muscle or change in the structure of the heart muscle structure. A chronic condition, it is often associated with heart function problems.

There are several types of cardiomyopathy, including:

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy, in which the heart becomes weakened, enlarged and inefficient at pumping blood.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle becomes thick, making it harder for blood to leave the heart.
  • Restrictive cardiomyopathy, a group of disorders in which a stiffness in the heart makes it difficult for the heart chambers to properly fill with blood.

Among the causes of cardiomyopathy are alcoholism and cocaine use, coronary artery disease (CAD), end-stage kidney disease, high blood pressure and genetic defects.

How does molecular imaging help people with cardiomyopathy?

Myocardial perfusion imaging and the nuclear functional study assess heart function and provide valuable information on specific biochemical and structural changes in heart tissue including:

  • the extent of scarring
  • degree of coronary artery disease
  • left ventricle remodeling (changes in the size, shape, and function of the heart after injury)
  • the development of congestive heart failure.