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Avatar universal

Low ejection fraction/Cardiomyopathy


I'm a 27 year old male, with no prior history of health problems.  A few months ago, I began feeling "under the weather", and wound up in the ER twice in 3 days.  I went to a few specialists, had a brain MRI, which were negative.  More recently I saw a cardiologist who ordered a stress test, holter, echo, and finally cardiac MRI.  The stress test, holter, and EKG seemed fine.  However, the echo showed a low ejection fraction, confirmed by the MRI.  The fraction in 41%, but the report showed normal size of the heart and chambers, and no thickening of the walls.  My cardiologist says this may have been caused by a virus, and put me on an ultra low dose of Coreg (3.125mg 2x/day).  I am obviously very concerned about this because of my age.  And was wondering if there are any other explanations?  And will my heart return to normal strength possibly?  Any advice/thoughts would be greatly appreciated.    
32 Responses
367994 tn?1304957193
Does the echo show hypokinesis (impaired heart wall movement)?  Ruling out cardiomyopathy, apparently done, then heart muscle damage has to be the result of viral, drugs, medication, alcohol, etc.  

Coreg is usually treatment to stablize heart rate?
Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it.  Yes, the cardiac MRI showed "mild hypokinesis, with unknown etiology".  I can tell you that I don't take drugs, any regular meds or drink much, so I guess virus fits?  I'm sorry, but what part rules out cardiomyopathy?  If that is the case, how damaging can this virus be, and is there anything that I can do about it?  I know this is naive, but my main concern is, can I be physically where I was before this happened.  Any advise you give would be greatly appreciated and put my mind at ease.

My Dr. put me on Coreg I think as a precaution until I meet with an Electrophysiologist.
642877 tn?1281802882
I had a similar diagnosis 1.5 years ago. Everything looking normal except ejection fraction of 46%. They started me out on the low dose of coreg too. Another explanation could be genetic, but your age would probably rule that out unless other family members had issues early on. As far as recovery goes, my cardiologist said about 1/3 get better, 1/3 stay the same and 1/3 get worse. You're young so perhaps your more likely to improve. I've stayed the same since being diagnosed. I was very active before my diagnosis and since then I've remained active but changed what I do. I eliminated heavy weight lifting and competitive sports. I switched from mountain biking to road biking. I haven't told my cardiologist about the whitewater kayaking. Can't give that up yet - ha.
Avatar universal
First of all... I'm SO sorry.  I know it is terrifying.  I was 25 when I had viral myocarditis and I am afraid it did change my life.  At the same time, let me tell you.. I'm 41 now and I still work almost full time.  sciman's stats are correct but there is a lot wrapped up in" better, same, worse".  What really baffles me is how some people (and you are not the first I heard of) can have myocarditis and not know.  I struggled with an serious unignorable problem for 6 months.  My heart pounded away at a minimum rate of 180 for the whole time.   Now, when I see people come in to the hospital with a diagnosis of viral myocarditis, I have WAY too much empathy.

COREG  is a type of medicine called a beta-blocker. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat mild, moderate, or severe heart failure. COREG helps to lower the heart rate and makes the heart pump better. COREG  is proven to help people with heart failure live longer and stay out of the hospital.

That is from the coreg website.  I'll tell you, it is the only drug that stands apart from all the other beta-blockers with a proven statistically to increase longevity.  There is somehow more to it than just a beta-blocker.  Nearly all patients with any degree of heart failure are put on it becuase it does seem to "make people live longer and keep them out of the hospital".  Those actually aren't empty words.  Also ACE inhibitors show some potential for cardiac "remodeling".  You may end up being put on that too.

So, there is a chance it will get better and probably with you taking those meds.  Don't be in a hurry to get off them.  If it stays the same, just know how much worse  it can be and be thankful for no further decline.  Don't go too far down the road of "how bad it can be" yet.  Let them figure out where you are and a plan.  You will paralyze yourself with "what-ifs".  Come here for answers from people who have actually been down these roads already.   When your dr tells you what med, what test, what plan he has... someone here can explain how it plays out in real life... and lots of support.  Take more info when you need it.  One piece at a time.

Don't borrow trouble from tomorrow, today has enough of it's own to get through.  (Not just a good idea, it's biblical.)  Blessings to you.  I will lift you up in prayer.
Avatar universal
I can relate to a lot of what you are going through.  I recently went in to my doc because I felt a slight flutter in my left chest while sleeping on my left side.  Normally, I wouldn't have gone to the doc, but I have a family to worry about so I thought I should.  He said (according to ekg) that I had PVC's which are not unusual (most people have them at some time).  My heart rate was normal as was my cholesterol.  I had a stroke screening prevention at work that also came back normal.  The only thing abnormal was a high red count.  My doc sent me to an oncologist for high red count who in turn sent me to a cardiologist just to make sure there wasn't an issue with my heart.  Turns our my red count is high but not to the point of requiring any intervention other than a daily low does aspirin due to possible polycythemia vera which is a disease that causes an over production of red cells but is treatable, but my echo showed that I have an EF of 20-30%.   I was floored.  Up until a few years ago I ran 20-25 miles per week.  I don't smoke, am a social drinker, and other than putting on about 50 pounds since I got married 7 years ago (about the time I stopped running) I am in good health. I've never had any major health issues until now. I'm still active and had been stair walking to take off the weight at the time of my diagnosis.  Other than feeling a little out of shape, I was fine (no shortness of breath or undue fatigue).  I go back for more tests Tuesday, so I am hoping and parying that it is not as bad as the echo originally showed.  I really don't want to go under the knife, so if there is a problem I hope it can be treated with meds and lifestyle changes.  Obviously I have been talking to anyone and everyone trying to get some reassurance and advice.  I think if anything, you need to take banglamom's advice; don't worry too much about the "what-if's."  Personally, my feelings are that if there is a problem, I'm glad they caught it before I had an MI.  There are some great treatments out there that show promise.  Since your EF isn't that low (compared to mine any way) then perhaps you caught it before your heart was damaged too badly.  Frankly, I would love to have an EF of 41.  Things can always be worse.  I know that's not much help.  I still worry about mine and I'm dreading my appointment Tuesday because I'm afraid the results might be bad. On the other hand, I'm glad that I caught it when I did.  I hope your prognosis is good.  And baglamom, I'd appreciate it if you would put on your prayer list as well.
Avatar universal
I have an appt today as well to see where mine has gone of late.  I always get terrified going to the cardiologist.  They never say... everything is fine... just see me if you need me..  It's always, well.... this is ok, maybe we can try_____.  I've been fretting for a couple days but soon it will be over.  Chances are, I will just have appts for all the other tests they want to schedule.  I'm waiting for the magic cure to come along.  Maybe today.  Sorry I'm so disjointed I can barley think today.
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