Restrictive Cardiomyopathy

Updated:Oct 2,2017

Restrictive cardiomyopathy tends to affect older adults. The heart's ventricles become rigid because abnormal tissue, such as scar tissue, replaces the normal heart muscle. Consequently, the ventricles can't relax normally and fill with blood, and the atria become enlarged. Blood flow in the heart is reduced over time. This can lead to problems such as heart failure or arrhythmias.

Other Names for Restrictive Cardiomyopathy
  • Idiopathic restrictive cardiomyopathy
  • Infiltrative cardiomyopathy

What Causes Restrictive Cardiomyopathy
Certain diseases, conditions and factors can cause restrictive cardiomyopathy, including:

  • Hemochromatosis. (A disease in which too much iron builds up in your body. The extra iron is toxic to the body and can damage the organs, including the heart.)
  • Sarcoidosis.  (A disease that causes inflammation and can affect the body's organs. Researchers believe that an abnormal immune response may cause sarcoidosis. The abnormal response causes tiny lumps of cells to form in the body's organs, including the heart.)
  • Amyloidosis. (A disease in which abnormal proteins build up in the body's organs, including the heart.)
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Some cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy

Other Types of Cardiomyopathy: Also in this section:
This content was last reviewed March 2016.

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Cardiomyopathy in Adults

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