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Coastal Heart Medical Group -  - Cardiology

Coastal Heart Medical Group

Cardiology & Vascular Specialists located in Santa Ana, CA & Chino Hills, CA

Cardiomyopathy affects the structure and function of your heart muscles and can lead to heart failure if left untreated. At Coastal Heart Medical Group, the experienced team of cardiologists provides extensive testing in the office for faster diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions. For more than 30 years, the practice has provided award-winning service and compassionate care in the Santa Ana, California, area. Learn more by scheduling a visit online or by phone today.


What is cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy is the term for diseases of the heart muscle. There are many different diseases that cause cardiomyopathy and lead to enlargement, thickening, or stiffening of the heart muscle.

What causes cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy may be acquired, meaning it develops over time, or inherited, meaning you’re born with it. Different types of cardiomyopathy include:

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

This version is typically inherited, though it can also be acquired after chronic high blood pressure, aging, or other diseases, including diabetes and thyroid disease.

Dilated cardiomyopathy

One-third of cases are inherited from parents with the condition. Other causes include a history of alcoholism, exposure to toxins or poisons, pregnancy complications, illegal drug use, infections, and other heart conditions.

Restrictive cardiomyopathy

Specific conditions cause restrictive cardiomyopathy, including amyloidosis, connective tissue disorders, hemochromatosis, sarcoidosis, and some cancer treatments.

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia

Researchers believe this is an inherited disease.

Based on your symptoms and a thorough exam, the team determines which type of cardiomyopathy you have and the best course of treatment.

What are the signs of cardiomyopathy?

You may not experience any signs of cardiomyopathy, or symptoms may develop in later stages of the condition. Common signs include:

  • Shortness of breath, especially with exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in the neck veins, abdomen, arms, legs, and ankles

Cardiomyopathy can cause heart failure, so many of the symptoms overlap in both conditions.

How is cardiomyopathy diagnosed?

If you have symptoms of cardiomyopathy, the team completes a thorough medical history and physical exam. Your doctors listen to your heart for signs of abnormalities, including heart murmurs and an irregular heartbeat.

Additional testing may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Chest X-rays
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Holter and event monitors
  • Echocardiography
  • Stress test
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Coronary angiography
  • Myocardial biopsy
  • Genetic testing

The team uses the least invasive testing options available to ensure your experience is as comfortable and pain-free as possible.

How is cardiomyopathy treated?

In many cases, healthy lifestyle practices, including maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough exercise, and managing stress, can be used to manage cardiomyopathy.

If you experience symptoms that require additional treatment, the team prescribes medications to lower blood pressure, prevent blood clots, reduce inflammation, and slow your heart rate to a normal level. Advanced treatments include surgery and surgically-implanted devices to improve your heart’s function.

Schedule a visit for testing at Coastal Heart Medical Group by calling or using the online tool.