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Dilated cardiomyopathy

Inside view of a normal heart and a heart with chambers larger than normal

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a serious condition that weakens your heart muscle and causes it to stretch, or dilate. The heart's upper and lower chambers (atria and ventricles) are larger than normal.

When your heart muscle is weak, it can't pump out blood as well as it should, so more blood stays in your heart after each heartbeat. As more blood fills and stays in the heart, the heart muscle stretches even more and gets even weaker.

Current as of: December 16, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
George J. Philippides, MD, FACC - Cardiology