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Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that is not due to hypertension, valvular disease, congenital abnormalities, or coronary artery disease. It has been classified into hypertrophic, dilated (congestive), and restrictive types. These types are functionally different from each other and require different kinds of therapy.
Dilated (congestive) cardiomyopathy, the subject of this book, encompasses a range of disorders from drug- and toxin-induced cardiomyopathies to infiltrative diseases of the myocardium. It is characterized by dilation of the left or right ventricle or both and weakening in systolic contraction, which can be confirmed by measuring systolic ventricular performance and by an endocardial biopsy. Clinically, patients with this disorder have depressed cardiac output, salt and water retention, elevated ventricular diastolic pressure, pulmonary and systemic congestion, and ventricular dilation. It must be distinguished from hypertrophic or restrictive cardiomyopathy and myocarditis.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy attempts to unravel the mysteries of this most common form
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