Ask the doctor
Q. A friend was just diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. What causes this problem, and what is the prognosis?
A. In simple terms, cardiomyopathy refers to abnormal heart muscle. Some cases are mild and require no treatment. But in other cases, the condition causes severe symptoms (such as breathing difficulty and leg swelling) and leads to serious complications. Cardiomyopathy is one of many possible causes of heart failure, which happens when the heart is unable to pump well enough to meet the body's need for oxygen-carrying blood.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.