Cardiomyopathy is a general term for a decrease in the function of heart muscle. This decrease in pumping ability of the heart can lead to heart failure, swelling in the feet, and/or shortness of breath. Cardiomyopathy can occur for a number of reasons, such as coronary disease, heart valve disease, or it can be idiopathic (unknown cause).
People with cardiomyopathy are at risk of abnormal heart rhythms, exacerbation of heart failure, and sudden death. Treatment options for patients with cardiomyopathy are medications, pacemakers/defibrillators, ventricular assist devices, and/or heart transplantation.