How Jamie Passed
What is Dilated Cardiomyopathy?
In Dilated Cardiomyopathy the main pumping chambers of the heart are dilated and contract poorly. This results in a low output of the blood from the heart and features of heart failure, with build up of fluid behind the left side of the heart leaving the congestion in the lungs and breathlessness. Occasionally the right side of the heart is also involved with fluid accumulating in the body tissues, particularly the ankles and abdomen.
What causes Dilated Cardiomyopathy?
The cause of Dilated Cardiomyopathy remains uncertain, but it is probable that there are many different factors that are important. These include viral infection. Usually viral infections are self-limiting illnesses as the body’s defence mechanism is able to control the virus, prevent it from spreading, and kill it. Enteroviruses are common causes of viral infections often presenting with flu like symptoms. One of the Enteroviruses, CoxsackieB, can affect the heart but does not usually cause permanent damage. In some instances however, the evidence suggests that the virus may either persist within the heart or trigger an auto immune process that continues to damage the heart muscle.
For more information please visit www.c-r-y.org.uk.