Our leading cardiac specialists can diagnose, manage and treat symptoms of cardiomyopathy — a disorder of heart muscle

Enquiries & Appointments

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What is cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy is an umbrella term for diseases of the heart muscle, where the walls of the heart chambers either become stretched and thin or thickened and stiff. This makes it hard for the heart to pump blood around the body and can lead to heart failure. Cardiomyopathy is often an inherited condition.

Need to know

Symptoms of cardiomyopathy include:

  • extreme tiredness
  • rapid or fluttering heartbeat
  • chest pressure
  • dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • breathlessness while resting or moving around
  • swollen legs and ankles
  • a bloated stomach due to fluid build up
  • These symptoms will get worse over time, if left untreated.

Your consultant will discuss your symptoms with you and help to make a diagnosis. They may order further tests.

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG). This measures electrical impulses from your heart. It detects abnormal heart rhythms, which can cause cardiomyopathy.
  • Echocardiogram. This looks at heart muscle and valve function.
  • Cardiac MRI scan. This explores the extent of the damage and looks for abnormalities inside the heart muscle itself.
  • Cardiac catheterisation. A biopsy of your heart, which is taken through a catheter and sent for analysis.

There are many ways to manage cardiomyopathy.

  • Medication: this can improve your heart's ability to pump, remove excess fluid and lower blood pressure.
  • Implanted devices: these are surgically implanted and include pacemakers to control arrhythmia, and sometimes to improve heart muscle function. In severe cases, ventricular assist devices (VAD) may be used to support the heart.
  • Surgery: a heart transplant can be used in end-stage heart failure, and rarely, a septal myectomy can be used to remove portions of thickened heart muscle.

Our Cardiomyopathy locations

The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
The Cardiac Clinic

The Cardiac Clinic

London Bridge Hospital SE1 2PR London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.