Ischemic Cardiomyopathy Oakville

Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

What is Ischemic Cardiomyopathy?

Ischemic Cardiomyopathy is the most common type of cardiomyopathy, and is a type of Dilated Cardiomyopathy.  It develops when coronary artery disease progresses to that state of limiting oxygen-rich blood flow to the heart muscle.  This can occur gradually over many years or acutely with a heart attack. The lower chambers of the heart, known as the right and left ventricles, can enlarge and weaken. This makes it more challenging for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.  

graphic displaying a healthy human heart vs an unhealthy heart due to ischemic cardiomyopathy

Complications of Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

What are the risk factors for developing ischemic cardiomyopathy?

graphic displaying the risk factors for ischemic cardiomyopathy

What are the symptoms of Ischemic Cardiomyopathy?

Some people do not have any other symptoms. Others might experience:

How do you treat Ischemic Cardiomyopathy?

Angiography with coronary artery stent placement is a common management strategy, in addition to medical optimization.  Medications geared towards managing coronary artery disease, which may include cholesterol-lowering agents, such as statins, are imperative in preventing progression of disease. There are many other medications that can help treat the complications of ischemic cardiomyopathy, that are geared towards managing heart failure, arrhythmias, and blood clots. If valvular disease develops, interventions such as Mitraclip® placement or surgical repair/replacement are viable options as well.

Sometimes devices, such as an Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) or Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) are needed to prevent sudden cardiac death and/or worsening ventricular dysfunction. Lastly, mechanical circulatory support devices such as a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), and/or Cardiac Transplantation remain life-sustaining surgical options in some patients.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, as with many cardiovascular diseases, a focus on lifestyle changes and modifications is a very powerful strategy, when combined with medical and device related care.  

Lifestyle changes include: 

  • Maintaining a heart-healthy diet. Which includes consuming less than 2000 mg/day of sodium.  
  • Abstaining from cigarette smoking 
  • Managing comorbid medical conditions that may impact ischemic cardiomyopathy. These include managing sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and obesity.  
  • Daily moderate intensity exercise is also helpful in preventing progression of atherosclerotic disease and ischemic cardiomyopathy. However, the timing and safety of resuming a daily exercise program must first be discussed with your cardiologist. 

Still have a question about ischemic cardiomyopathy? Speak to your doctor about a referral to the Chahal Cardiovascular Centre for an Advanced Heart Failure consultation.