Posts Tagged ‘irreversible dilated cardiomyopathy’

The popular clinical  entity Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy   is often a  dust-bin diagnosis” . The fact is the word   idiopathic simply reflects  our ignorance.

For God nothing is idiopathic . . . he knows how each and every cell  would   behave  .

so , when a patient presents with progressive dilatation and  heart failure refractory to all medical  therapy he is termed as idiopathic and posted for heart transplantation. And only later , we realize the whole thing is due  a  terrible form of reversible  DCM  . That is  pheochromocytoma  induced DCM , which recurred again in the   transplanted  heart.  What a  costly  Ignorance ?

pheochromocytoma and dilated cardiomyopathy reversible dcm tachycardic

Image courtesy and source http://www.dreamstime.com.

Is sub- clinical pheo like situations rampant ?

We know  that  high levels of both epi and nor- epinephrine circulate  in cardiac failure . We presume it  to be a secondary effect .

How can  we  so sure about it ?  There  is a distinct  possibility  of   adrenal gland hyperfunction  and hyperplasia in all DCMs (Idiopathic or ischemic ! )  The dramatic beneficial effects of beta blockers in cardiac failure  will vouch for it .

So , It remains a fertile filed for the youngsters to explore . . . the hyper  adrenergic mediated reversible component of any cardiomyopathy and cardiac failure .

Final message

The default  approach  in any  patient with progressive / refractory cardiac failure   should  be  ,  to consider  whether they fit into  any form of reversible myocardial disease  .  What is idiopathic in remote clinic of   your distant  country side  may be  well recognized secondary cardiomyopathy . The irony is , even sophisticated university hospitals many times miss the true etiology as in the above case report .

                                  So, the term Idiopathic  dilated  cardiomyopathy  (iDCM )  may  aptly be named as  Ignorant  forms  of  DCM  , with an  attractive  abbreviation    . . .   iDCM


1.J Surg Educ. 2009 Mar-Apr;66(2):96-101. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2008.11.004. Pheochromocytoma presenting as acute severe congestive heart failure, dilated cardiomyopathy, and severe mitral valvular regurgitation: a case report and review of the literature.

2.Kelley SR, Goel TK, Smith JM.Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 2005 Summer;20(3):117-9. Pheochromocytoma presenting as heart failure.

3.Pheochromocytoma   masquerading as a cardiomyopathy. Garcia R, Jennings JM.  Am J Cardiol. 1972 Apr;29(4):568-71.

4.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1894695/pdf/20070600s00025p244.pdf

pheochromocytoma and dcm dilated cardiomyopathy .catecholamine induced dcm tachycardiac cardiomyopathy

5. http://downloads.hindawi.com/crim/medicine/2011/596354.pdf

pheochromocytoma and dcm dilated cardiomyopathy .catecholamine induced dcm tachycardiac adrenal cardiomyopathy


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