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Cardiomyopathy (cont.)

Medical Treatment

While the treatment of a cardiomyopathy depends upon the specific cause, the goal for therapy is to maximize cardiac output, maintain ejection fraction, and prevent further heart muscle damage and loss of function.

If the cardiomyopathy is associated with electrical disturbances, heart pacemakers may be implanted to provide stable, coordinated electrical impulses to the heart muscle.

If there is a potential for sudden cardiac death, an implanted defibrillator may be considered. The device can recognize ventricular fibrillation, a rhythm that does not allow the heart to contract, and deliver an electrical shock to return the heart to a coordinated stable rhythm. If indicated, there are some implanted devices that are both pacemakers and defibrillators.

Severe cardiomyopathies may not be able to be controlled or treated with mediation, diet, or other surgical interventions. In this situation, heart transplantation may be a consideration as a final option.

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Medical Dictionary