Each type of cardiomyopathy is associated with symptoms that correspond to the specific way in which the muscle cells are diseased. Symptoms not only vary greatly among the types of cardiomyopathy, but vary from child to child and from age to age. Even children from the same family can exhibit different symptoms. Some may be asymptomatic (no symptoms) or have mild symptoms, whereas others may have a more severe and progressive form of the disease. For signs and symptoms related to each form of cardiomyopathy, view the below pages:
As the disease advances, different complications may develop and additional symptoms may appear. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a common feature of all late-stage cardiomyopathies. CHF occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs, and fluid builds up in the body tissues and lungs. In some children this progression happens quickly, while in others the heart may not worsen for a long time.
When cardiomyopathy is secondary to another condition such as Noonan syndrome, Pompe disease, fatty acid oxidation defect or Barth syndrome, other physical abnormalities and symptoms can present early in life. For example, children with cardiomyopathies of a metabolic nature may have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), excess acidity in the blood (metabolic acidosis), neurological abnormalities (encephalogpathy) and decreased muscle tone (hypotonia).