Posts Tagged ‘reversible 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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The term cardiomyopathy generally denotes a  progressive disease  in clinical cardiology.There was a time   diagnosis  of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM )  was synonymous with a  delayed death sentence !  Of course , the situation has vastly improved over the years  with the availability of  new medical , interventional and surgical management. Still ,  there is no denying the  fact  ,  DCM continues to  have a grave outcome  especially when it occurs without any identifiable cause .

While we have  variety of aggressive DCMs , we also  have  patients with relatively benign forms of   dilated and dysfunctional hearts  which recover totally .

This reversible forms of DCM is observed in  the following  situations.

Hypertensive dilated cardiomyopathy . The left ventricle  in  some of the  patients with severe SHT  respond to the stress (Increased  after load) by dilatation rather than hypertrophy. This is especially common after an episode of LVF.  If we do an acute echocardiogram the LV function is severely impaired and the LV may  also be dilated. With good control of BP and fluid management the ventricle promptly return  to it’s baseline dimension. The recovery is complete in many . (The mechansim of LV dysfunction acute severe Hypertension is referred to as Pre-load /After load mismatch) Link to concept of Pre load mismatch .

* Note in the past these entities were not called as  cardiomyopathy .

Peri partum cardiomyopathy.

This is a serious disorder of cardiac muscles that occur during pregnancy  few months before  or few months after delivery  . There is correlation between PIH and this entity. Prognosis varies between very bad to excellent. Very few cardiac entities  have a  natural history like this one disease of women.Most of the pregnant women regain their original cardiac status within  year or so. It should be recalled there is high chances of recurrence in next pregnancy.

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy.

The toxic response to alcohol or the additive cobalt can result in DCM .There is overlap  between holiday heart syndrome and alcoholic DCM , where atrial fibrillation is the major problem. Wet Beri beri is the advamced form of clinical DCM that respond to vitamin B therapy.

Tachycardic cardiomyopathy.

This is also a common entity that occur during persistent sinus tachycardia or AF , thyrotoxicosis.Beta blockers are  of great use here.  Recovery is usual if the primary cause is correctable.

Toxic and drug related  reversible LV dysfunction

Adriamycin cardiomyopathy

Tako -Subot  Cardiomyopathy canbe termed as classic form of reversible  stress cardiomyopathy

Miscellaneous conditions

Diabetes and chronic kidney disorders are known to have a reversible form of cardiomyopathy

Some rare toxins  , scorpion envenomation , selenium deficiency can result in reversible DCM

**Ischemic DCM are partially  correctable in many , still  we don’t include it as cause for reversible DCM

*** Many episodes of acute myocarditis can have transient or short term LV dialtation and  dysfunction.they are classified as myocarditis .But there is little  difference (Except acadmeic . . .)  between chronic myocarditis with LV dysfucntion  and cardiomyopathy.

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