When your child is first diagnosed with pediatric cardiomyopathy, it is common to feel overwhelmed. You may not have heard of pediatric cardiomyopathy until now. Learning all you can about the disease is a major step toward taking charge of your child's illness — and your life.
Pediatric cardiomyopathy is a chronic disease of the heart muscle affecting the ability of the heart to pump efficiently. It is estimated that 30,000 children in the U.S. are living with some form of cardiomyopathy without regard to gender, ethnicity or age. The disease may be inherited or acquired, and its severity can range from mild to severe.
Literature on adult cardiomyopathy is plentiful but not always relevant to children with the disease. The causes, manifestations and progression of cardiomyopathy in children may be quite different from that in adults.
This section is intended to help you understand the types, causes, diagnosis and treatment of pediatric cardiomyopathy. The more educated you are about pediatric cardiomyopathy, the better you will be able to work with your child’s healthcare team. Being an informed advocate is one of the most important steps you can take toward getting your child the best medical care.
The following information provides a basic overview of cardiomyopathy and is not intended to be conclusive in its medical content or to replace a consultation with a qualified medical professional. Cardiomyopathy is a variable disease with different forms, and a thorough medical examination by a pediatric cardiologist is recommended for proper diagnosis and medical management.