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Dilated Cardiomyopathy
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Dilated Cardiomyopathy

I am a 64 year old male. I don't smoke or drink. And eat a healthy diet. Weight is 188 lbs. All heart numbers ( cholesterol, etc. ) are better than average. I do have a L-BBB and some Palps, PAC's and ectopic beats.

Recently, I had a stress [ tread-mill ] test, ECG, etc. and two nuclear heart scans. [ One under stress and one not. ] I did better than average on the tread-mill stress test. My pulse was 146. My BP remained a decent number as well.

However, the nuclear heart scans showed some degree of Dilated Cardiomyopathy. My Ejection Fraction number is 42%. I am scheduled to have a 2-D Echocardiogram next week. If the Echo comes out reasonably okay, do I have too much to worry about?

I have been cleared to have daily mild to moderate exercise.

I take 75 mgs of Atenolol daily and have been for several years. My BP is usually 120/72. I have a low pulse rate. I suspect they may put my on an ACE Inhibitor for the Dilated Cardiomyopathy. At this point, ( I don't think they know what has caused my Dilated Cardiomyopathy. )

Thanks for this site and your help.
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Avatar_n_tn
Bodoni,

Thanks for the post. Nuclear stress test tend to overestimate the degree of ventricular dysfucntion. The echo will be important to tell you if you have ventricular dysfucntion and whether there is any structural abnormality that led to it (Valvular stenosis, etc.) It is also important to investigate other causes such as thyroid dysfucntion, coronary disease and high blood pressure.

Good luck

19 Comments
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84483_tn?1289941537
Follow the CCF doc advice, get an echo, I would almost bet in the end you'll find you have nothing significant to worry about.

Without symptoms and an  Ef of 42 % and doing much better than other persons in your age group is a big plus. keep us posted and good luck.I'll  think you'll find your Ef in 50% + and above range.
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Avatar_n_tn
Aggree with above. Have an echo and see what it shows.
If it is normal, nothing to worry about. If it is low or borderline low, consider workup as d/w MD. There is a whole set of labs +- possible angiogram that you cardiologist should do in that case. Some reasons for dilated cardiomyopathy are reversible, so you don't want to miss those.
Keep us updated.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks guys for the replies.
Mary2 - what is 'workup as d/w MD'? You mention this in your reply.

I am getting the echo this Wednesday, 23rd. Wish me luck. Thanks!
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84483_tn?1289941537
Best of LUCK . keep us updated!!! Thanks
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61536_tn?1340701763
"Nuclear stress test tend to overestimate the degree of ventricular dysfucntion"

Really???  I thought they did those for a better estimate of LVEF, or maybe there's a difference between a nuclear stress test and a MUGA and I'm just all confused.
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Avatar_n_tn
The workup is echocardiogram (also to look at the valves), checking blood pressure, thyroid function test. If echo really shows low EF, blood work, such as iron studies, BNP, possibly angiogram etc may need to be done. Your cardiologist should be able to order that.
Hope that helps. Good luck with the echo.
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Avatar_n_tn
I already have had / or will have had all these things done by tomorrow after the echo. [ Well, I don't know if I will get an angiogram or not. ] Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, my echo didn't go so well this morning. They say I have heart weakness...and my cardiologist is thinking I should get a heart cath done to see if I have any clogged arterties. Anyone familiar with this? Is a heart cath dangerous?

I am waiting to hear if my primary care doctor wants to add ACE Inhibiotors, etc....I am taking Atenelol now as I have stated before.

I would appreciate any input. Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry to  hear about bad news. I think that the cath is the way to go. If you do have blocked arteries your EF is likely to improve after angioplasty. Cardiac cath is a rutine procedure in most hospitals and the complication rate in approx. 1-2%. Most of them (even if they occur) are treatable (such as bleeding, bruising, etc....).  Also, make sure your cardiologist starts you on ACE inhibitor and beta blocker, such as coreg.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well over 50% of patients with dilated cardiomyopathies are called idiopathic. Meaning, no one will ever know what caused it.
And well there is also other things that can cause cardiomyopathies.
Not knowing if you are diabetic, or if you travelled to a different country. Many things, no one can tell you what caused it or if a virus or if you were the first man to get pregnancy related cardiomyopathy.
Basically, the world will never know half the time.

BUT, a battery of tests should be ordered to find out if it is one of the known causes.
There is ischemic cardiomyopathy, meaning the heart has plumbing problems.

I would, if I were you, just get as many tests as your cardiologist recommends to try and pinpoint a cause.
Hell, you could be a raging alcoholic and have alcoholic cardiomyopathy for all I know.
I know a guy who almost died of methamphetamine cardiomyopathy. Now leads a normal life after nearly dying.
Who knows, if he had tested positive for meth its unlikely he wouldve admitted it to his cardiologist. Which saved his life.

Not saying anything about you personally, but that is just some examples facing a clinician when it comes to gaining a proper history which are the clues to figuring out what's caused the heart (cardio) muscle (myo) to become diseased(pathy)
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61536_tn?1340701763
I'm sorry about the echo.  A heart cath has risks, as any procedure does, but if your doctor has suggested it, the benefits of having it outweigh the small associated risk of a complication.  If your decreased heart function is the result of a blockage, it can possibly be reversed or at least stabilized, and that would be wonderful.  Hang in there.  I wish you the best in getting this figured out and finding some improvement.
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Avatar_n_tn
Anyone out there who has Dilated Cardiomyopathy and are doing pretty well and expect to have a normal lifespan?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,  I was just diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy a week ago. I turned 32 a few days after that. I  am in fairly good health. But my echo shows my ejection factor is about 10%. They belive I got it from a cold or virus 3 month  ago. I have my angiogram on Wed and they are setting up an appt for me to meet the guy who would do the pacemake/defibrulator insertion. She said it was to " just meet him" But I have a feeling she is leaning towards that. She has me on an Ace inhibitor, Coreg, Dogoxin, a diuretc and potaasium pills. Reading websites are informative, but I don't really like thiet percentages on survival. Anyone have any encouraging news? :-)
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so sorry to hear of your problems, especially the low Ejection Fraction number. I bet they can get that number higher with meds and treatment. Please e-mail me at ***@****  I would love to talk with you and keep in touch. Thanks, John.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm 43 - diagnosed with DCM 3 1/2 years ago.  At that time, I received a BiVentricular Pacemaker and ICD...went of regimen of Altace/Coreg/Aldactone which has taken my heart from EF of 20 to EF of 40 at last check.  In spite of some recent setbacks with PVCs and VT -- the BiV pacer and meds seem to be a good option.

My experience has been that it's possible to live with the diagnosis...but it's really key to learn your limits and listen to your body!
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Avatar_n_tn
Jeff,

I would like to speak with you. Please e-mail me at
***@****    Thanks for posting.  John
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi.  I'm 42 and diagnosed about 6 weeks ago with congestive heart failure (CHF) caused by dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).  I had all the tests, including the heart cath.  I had no blocked arteries so the results from the heart cath were good.  The cause of my DCM is either hypertension or idiopathic. I was having major shortness of breath and had stopped carrying laundry up from the basement or felt like I was going to die going up one flight of stairs at work.  

My cardiologist put me on Coreg CR (alpha/beta blocker - the wonder drug), lisinopril (Ace Inhibitor), and a diuretic.  While I was extremely exhausted from the CHF and from getting used to the Coreg, I have now adjusted and feel so much better!  I won't have another echocardiogram until this fall so I don't yet know what the improvement is to my EF (started at 38%) but the way I'm feeling makes me think it has got to be improved.

I also have Type 2 diabetes, which has complicated things as I just started meds for it around the same time as all the heart meds.  However, things are looking up!  

It takes a while to mentally deal with the idea of CHF and I'm sure I haven't dealt with it fully yet - have had my ups and downs.  My biggest issue is trying to add exercise as I haven't exercised regularly for about 10 years.  

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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

My name is john male 32 years,i had heart failure 4 years before, diagnoised as Cornary Artery Disease and given medicine,i have been taking that medication for the past four years...last week i took a Echo and found that my EF is about 39 % and the doctor told me that i have ischemic dilated cardiomypathy...i work in night shifts..do i need to change my job or what to do now? i am going to consult the doctor..i have some knowledge about this disease
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