Congestive Heart Failure Expert Forum
Can you recover from Viral Cardiomyopathy?
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CHF is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. In some cases, the heart can’t fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can’t pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems. The term "heart failure" doesn’t mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. Heart failure is a serious condition that requires medical care. This forum is a place to ask questions about CHF. Some examples are: How is CHF diagnosed? What treatment options are available for me?

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Can you recover from Viral Cardiomyopathy?

I'm a 29 year old female. I was recently diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy after complaining to my Cardiologist of numbness and tingling in my left arm. I also gained about 10 pounds in water retention over a 2 month period. I had a stress done which showed a left bundle branch block and an MRI showed that I had previously had Myocarditis on my heart which cleared up on its own, but left patches of scar tissue that is affecting my hearts pumping. My ejection fraction is now 44%, whereas 2 years ago at my last echo it was 65%. My cardiologist says he thinks we can reverse the cardiomyopathy. I have no limitations for exercise etc, so it must not be that bad. Has anybody ever fully recovered from Viral Cardiomyopathy. I was a mess when I first found out I had this, as I have a happy little family that would miss me terribly. Anybody info would be appreciated.
1884349_tn?1353818598
Hello and welcome to the forum.

First of all, I am terribly sorry to hear about the angst you are going through.  This is understandably scary but let me address your question.

If you do indeed have a viral cardiomyopathy, then treatment with optimal medical therapy is essential.  Specifically, your doctor should be getting you on drugs called beta blockers and ACE inhibitors and slowly increase the doses to the maximal doses that you can tolerate.  This will give you the best change to have recovery of your heart function.

Whereas in some people the heart will completely recover, in others the heart does not ever get back to "normal" but it does not get worse either and people feel fine which is also ok.

Finally, making the diagnosis of a "viral cardiomyopathy" can be a little tricky.  A lot of times doctors will give you this label because they dont know what else to call it.  Frankly, this is ok because the treatment is mostly the same regardless of whether this was caused by a virus or not.  But, there are other conditions that could potentially look like this on MRI (referred to as "infiltrative cardiomyopathies"...in your case, one could consider something like sarcoid, etc).  But, as I said, the treatment would be essentially the same.

I trust that you are seeing a cardiologist who you feel comfortable with and who you have confidence in.  If not, it is always ok to seek a 2nd opinion.

Finally, enjoy your little family and the MANY years that you will be spending with them (hopefully you will repost when you are in your 60s and complaining of a little arthritis).

All the best,

Dr. Rich

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1884349_tn?1353818598
Jonathan D. Rich, MDBlank
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Chicago, IL
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